DEAR ABBY: I was touched by your recent letters from "Smiling in Carolina" and "Happy New Grandmother, Dallas," regarding the heartache birth mothers feel when they place their babies for adoption, and how appreciative grandmothers are when children are adopted into their families. Their letters made me remember the decision I made about my own grandson, "Jack."
Sixteen years ago, my husband and I took Jack into our home after his mother died. Jack was 11 months old. It soon became apparent that Jack was a special person with special needs. He was slow to learn, but a happy child. When he was school age, we put him in special education classes.
We got along fine; however, when my husband passed away three years ago at age 91, I got to thinking about Jack's future. I am now 90 and feeling well, but there will come a time when I will no longer be able to take him to school, golfing, bowling, etc. So after much thought and investigation, I found Jack an excellent board-and-care home. He stays there all week. They provide him transportation to school, excellent meals and clean clothes. He enjoys living with four other people closer to his age. On weekends and holidays, he comes home with me.
It wrenches my heart to see him go back on Sunday evenings, but I know if anything happens to me, he won't have to make a big adjustment. I am so glad I made this plan and hope it was the right thing to do. -- WONDERING IN MICHIGAN
DEAR WONDERING: I commend you for finding your grandson a home where he will feel safe and secure after you are no longer around to take care of him. I can't think of a more loving or unselfish act to do for someone with special needs.
If other readers are in similar circumstances, I urge them to take the time now to find a suitable living environment for those they love and care about. Planning ahead will bring peace of mind.