The Right Kind of Person

Having spent a significant amount of time with my stepson's daughter, my 'step' granddaughter, as in granddaughter I am not biologically related to, I stand by my belief that a love, or a bond if you prefer, can develop that's as strong or stronger that those of the blood related category.

It's also my opinion, though, that it takes a certain kind of person with a certain kind of attitude or openness.

A person who loves children of all ages and thinks about how they're thinking and feeling, cares about what their individual fears and emotional needs are. Of course this is important for all who are involved in raising children, it's just that with adoption or fostering or kinship care there's an opportunity to try and ensure that those children who for whatever reason aren't being raised by their biological parents will be placed with people who are right for the responsibility. People who adopt and want to love and raise other people's children because they can't have their own should be thoroughly screened and continue to be assessed to see if they're actually doing it properly. Really the same should apply to those who volunteer to foster, those we choose to stepparent our children, and even those caring for extended family members.

Outside influences can greatly affect emotional investment, another reason why it's very important the right kind of person is replacing biological parents. The right kind of person has the ability to not only empathize and be dedicated to thinking about how a child that's in their care is feeling and responding, but also to parent without ego, something I still feel is a key factor in being the best mom or dad one can be.

I would suggest to those who are caring for the children of others, in whatever capacity that may be happening, to concentrate on the child and nurturing that relationship and to work hard to separate how those around you are behaving and not take it out on the child. This could be a spouse, a sister or brother, parent, bio parent, in-law, neighbor, co-worker, or even a stranger in a grocery store. It's not easy and sometimes we have to back away or change the way we relate to the adults in our lives but if you're that right kind of person, you'll do everything in your power to not allow others to negatively affect the child.

The right kind of person will be dedicated to parenting without ego and keep the focus on the child and his or her emotional needs.

Honestly, it will be easier to be a grandmother to my own son's children. I do look forward to it, look forward to the ease with which I'll be able to relate to my son as a parent because of the great relationship he and I enjoy. We can discuss anything openly and honestly, with respect and care for one another which is something that's very helpful to a grandparent. That said, I couldn't love my darling, non blood related, little granddaughter anymore than I do.

I'm grateful I get to be that right kind of person.