Betty was nearing the end of her career and looking forward to retiring and being able to travel. Then, one day out of the blue, Betty received a call at work asking if she wanted to take care of her three grandchildren. Their parents were no longer able to properly care for the kids and keep them safe. Betty had been identified as a potential resource for the children. Without hesitation, Betty said yes.
According to Betty, the decision to care for her grandchildren was an easy one. "I just knew I had to do something," said Betty. "I didn't want someone else taking care of them."
The Permanency Department at Family Services of NW PA worked alongside Betty throughout the entire process. They helped prepare her for being a parent again, and made sure she had everything she needed to make it happen. "The people that I worked with at Family Services have just been so supportive," said Betty. "Whatever I needed for the kids, they were always there."
Family Services of NW PA also helped connect Betty and her family to counseling services to help process the situation. "My oldest grandson was so angry at the world and lashing out when I got him," said Betty. "First he started seeing a therapist, and then I got him into wrestling. It changed his whole personality. He became more of himself and he started to feel ok with the situation."
When it became clear that it was the best option, Betty decided to care for her grandchildren permanently. Although she hasn't had much time to travel, she has no regrets. "Even at my age, it was one of the best decisions I've ever made," said Betty.
"This has been a really good experience for me, giving them a loving home where they can feel safe. I am grateful that, as a grandmother, I had the strength to be able to do this for them."
In May, Betty officially adopted all three children with support from Family Services of NW PA. "Family Services let us know they were there for us," said Betty. "They made us feel safe and showed a lot of love and concern for the kids."
According to Betty, the most important thing she was able to offer the kids was security. "They feel safe and secure now, like they can be themselves, and I think that's what they really needed," said Betty. "I talk to them a lot about how they feel and, when they tell me they're happy, I know everything is going to be alright."
Betty is grateful to the Permanency workers at Family Services of NW PA who helped her along this journey. "Because of their concern and their attention, they are the type of people you want to be around and you want to be a part of their life," said Betty. "Family Services was just awesome. They really changed my life for the best."