Our “GRAND” story began when we decided to take custody of Sebellah when she was 5 months old. Her first 5 months has been chaotic and unsafe. Quickly, we realized that our initial offer to provide a safe place for Sebellah, while her parents got their act together, was not going to be a brief experience, but most likely a lifelong commitment to provide her a safe home. Our journey turned into a roller coaster 3 and a half years of dealing with DCS, the courts, her dysfunctional biological parents, and the tragic death of another grandchild. Finally, after this incredible journey we were able to adopt Sebellah, in May of 2018. The adoption made a huge difference in Sebellah’s life and in the life of our new family. Our chaotic journey became much more stable, consistent and one full of joy and hope. We were also blessed with an incredible resource of family members and friends that provided an invaluable amount of respite and support.
We also realized that we were not alone, and that there were millions of other grandparents raising their grandchildren. We decided that we wanted to use our own journey and the knowledge that we had gained along the way to help others who were in similar situations. So, in the fall of 2018, we started working with our local community in Prescott, Arizona to start a support group for grandparents raising grandchildren. We were able to get the group started and it was a great success and provided much needed support to grandparents raising grandchildren in our community.
In December of 2019, we moved to Mount Airy, North Carolina, as a part of a downsizing plan that would allow Allene the opportunity to stay home full-time and give our family a fresh start as Sebellah started Kindergarten. The move has been a great move for us, and we love North Carolina. Sebellah is doing well in her first year of school in Mount Airy.
After giving ourselves a year to get settled, we have decided to start a new support group for grandparents raising grandchildren in the Mount Airy area. We have reached out to the local school districts and local non-profits, and we have found great support in getting our group started. We are looking forward to the opportunity to provide support to grandparents in this community who are making a difference in the lives of their grandchildren.
Rich, Allene & Sebellah Young