By Donna Kay Tucker
June 6, 2002
I am a grandmother in Texas. My daughter has 4 children. The oldest is 16, and my husband and I raised him. Finally at age 13 the court gave us guardianship over him. He is now 16. Now, we have the 6 year old granddaughter and the 4 year old grandson. Lyric has lived with us most of her 6 years as Bobby Carroll has. My daughter has the baby who is two years old. Both my daughter and son-in-law are drug heads. My daughter is so bad that she is now on the needle. She lives with her husband's brother.
Now this gets confusing if you don't have faces with these names. Tracy is my daughter, CW is her husband. Shane is CW's brother. Kim is Shayne's wife. Rhonda is CW's live in. They all do drugs together. Shane has Hepatitus C and is also Mentally Retarded, so the state pays his rent, buys his medication and provides him with food stamps.
My daughter also gets food stamps for her children yet she only has the one child with her. They take the food stamps and trade them for drugs, methamphetamines. On the 18th of May my daughter received a $1500.00 tax refund, By the next day it was all gone, every penny.
My husband and I have gone to attorneys but can get no help. The school Lyric attends called Child Protective Services(CPS) because I would send her to school and her father would go get her and keep her from me until he was ready to give her back. One time this lasted 34 days. I also called CPS, as did the daycare in which the two youngest were enrolled. We all received the same letter from CPS. "We see no reason to pursue this case."
We can't put these two children on our insurance because we are not their legal guardians. If the parents choose to take them away from me and I refuse I will go to jail. So, in a nutshell, my husband and I have the right to feed, clothe, give emotional and financial support to these children but that is all we have.
We have a nice home, it's clean, in the country, the kids have their own bedrooms and are well taken care of. We are not rich by any means, but my husband goes to work every day and we live comfortably.
The trailer in which my daughter resides has no running water, no heat, and no food. The two year old more or less takes care of herself. Now, here's the irony; all of these drug heads, including my daughter, have active warrants. Do they go to jail?
No. And even if they did we still have no legal rights to these children. Their father has never bought one diaper, one pair of shoes, or any clothes for either of these children. You tell me, what's wrong with this picture?
Three years ago I started a petition for Grandparent's Rights. It never made it to the floor. I know so many grandparents that are raising their grandchildren who should not have to undertake that responsibility, but it is a job that any grandparent who loves their grandchildren must do. The heartaches are many.
When they are snatched away and, of course, eventually brought back, the grandparents have to try to supply the emotional help they need to understand why their parents don't take care of them. I wish I had an answer, God knows I have tried to find one. But, until Texas changes the law we must do what we have to do. The losers in this situation: the children.
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The Journal of History - Fall 2002 Copyright © 2002 by News Source, Inc.