Skip Generations: A Strength-Based Mentoring Program for Resilient Grandparent Caregivers
Isolated, shocked, uncertain, hopeless. These are some of the words that attempt to describe what Linda James was feeling when her life took a drastic turn in 1987, when she was just 40 years old. Linda shares her story with as much passion as she has when she cares for her beloved grandchildren:
My story, like those of so many grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, began many years ago. In 1987, when my granddaughter was born, she weighed 1 lb. 4 oz. at birth. She was born in a drug house and later transported to Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. I was notiﬁed by the hospital that my granddaughter needed surgery and that the hospital couldn’t ﬁnd her mother. I gave consent for the surgery and asked the hospital to stay in contact with me because I would take responsibility for my granddaughter when it was time for her to be released. I knew that my daughter would not
be located because she was back on the streets. When the hospital notiﬁed me that she could be released, I had to ﬁnd a way to bring her here to Rochester. She was hooked-up with a heart monitor and breathing machine that would require a private plane with a medical staff. After many attempts to ﬁnd an agency to help me, a local radio station (WVOR) arranged a ﬂight to Washington, D.C. for me and also helped to arrange a Mercy ﬂight from Washington to Rochester with a nurse aboard.