Family is very important. In my family, there are connections made early and late in life that are just part of our way of life. We talk about those who have passed and the old times that blend into the new. This is important to feel the contact of family. I honestly miss my two grandmothers, that I was very close too. They did influence me in many ways.
I've seen many different combinations of generations living together. After my divorce, I came back to my parents house with my three children. Life wasn't always a piece of cake, but they really did help and continue to do so. God has given us so many opportunities to grow.
I have had grandparents or older relatives as the legal guardians to children when parents had drug, legal, or health issues. A lot of times grandparents step up, because BOTH parents are not always in the kids' life, so the other parent cannot or will not step up. And there may not be anyone else in the family that can help. Grandparents and other parent stand ins usually have good intentions - keeping family & helping family so they don't end up in child services. But it can be difficult when the kids have issues or are unduly disobedient. I have seen situations like these from students. I have to give these grandparents a lot of credit, because I don't know if I'd have energy or patience to tend to young kids as a senior citizen especially if the kids needed more attention/supervision or were unruly or abusive.
I was in my mid forties and was advised by mostly co-workers to think and re-think about it. I did and I'm glad I did. My late husband loved him as his own. I never regret fostering and adopting him. I'm a single elderly mom/aunt whom he keeps on her toes. It's true -- they keep you young. I know it's not for everyone, and I think God had a great deal to do with bringing Jacob into my life.
Thanks for the thread, Claire
PS: Say a little prayer for Jacob. His Confirmation date is April 6th.
It seems to me that, regardless of whether the children are your own or grandkids or foster children or something else, having kids at home is intimidating to a new friend. I think that men, in particular, who haven't raised kids are very afraid of either being stuck with hellions or of taking a back seat to them.
As has been said: nothing new, not unusual.