To round out my series, I sat down this week (over the phone) to talk to my maternal grandmother. I asked her if she could go back in time and talk to herself when she was 30 years old, what would she say to herself as a wife, mother, and woman.

Wife: I probably wouldn’t do things too differently. We were Christians and living for the Lord. I had been in love with your grandfather it seems all my life. I was almost 18 when I married him and… we had our ups and downs. I’m not saying we never had disagreements. They were never so bad that I felt like leaving him or he felt like leaving me. Especially when we got into the church and started living for the Lord it changed our life completely.

Mother: We started a church when Karen was 5. We had four little girls, you know how it is. It was a stressful time but a happy time. I wouldn’t do things a lot differently.

We were enjoying our kids. So much that we adopted two more. Karen was grown up when we adopted Kris. In fact, she was getting ready to get married. I sort of repeated my life, I guess.

Looking back it’s been a wonderful trip.

I’m sure there were a lot of mistakes that I can’t remember but just thinking about it, I loved my little girls, I loved them dearly. When the boys came the girls were almost grown. They were a lot of fun. And I had grandchildren by that time too. They didn’t live close by…. But I feel like I had a good long life.

ME: Tell me what made you want to adopt children:

Kay was about 13. I knew people keeping foster children and I thought “I’d like to do that.” I talked to the lady… she was the only one that we had to deal with and I told her I wanted to take a child to raise and she said, “Why don’t you adopt one?”

It’d never entered my mind and I didn’t think my husband would stand for it. The more I thought about it the more I felt the Lord laid it on my heart. When I told Gordon he said, “You don’t want to go through that again….changing diapers.” We were doing all sorts of things on our trips (from New York) to New Mexico…. sitting on the bottle to warm it!

But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it. I cried about it. Tears will move your husband!

After we got Kris, when we were walking out of the adoption agency with him Gordon said, “We’re going to get another one. I don’t want him to grow up alone like I did.”

When Kris was about 18 months old I went back to the lady and said I wanted another one and she said she had 26 newborns. We were going to wait a little longer, but I couldn’t wait. I filled out the papers that day and she had references she was going to mail to our pastor and neighbor, but I took the papers that day and delivered them and picked them back up so I could get them to her quicker. I took her all the paperwork and said, “Here, get me with this baby as quick as you can.”

And I’ve never been sorry.

Comments (6)

  • Richelle / July 29, 2011 / Reply

    Brings tears to my eyes, Leighann…such a wise and loving woman, our Garndma!

  • Richelle / July 29, 2011 / Reply


  • Dot / July 29, 2011 / Reply

    wow, I’ve never heard any of that from grandma. I really liked it. Thanks, Leighann!

  • Linda / July 29, 2011 / Reply

    Leighann it was such a great idea for you to chat with your grandma like this and to write down her answers to your questions. Now your kids can know what she was like and all that she said.

    She sounds like a great lady. Very down to earth and sensible!


  • Anonymous / July 29, 2011 / Reply


    I’m glad the Lord laid it on your heart to talk to all of your grandmothers. It is quite wonderful. I am especially glad that my mother who answered this way put it so beautifully. She IS a special mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. I am so glad that all of us have had her around for so long. It isn’t everyday that you can visit with your great-grandmother, and some of our children’s children have had the opportunity. Thank you again. Karen

  • Richelle / August 1, 2011 / Reply

    And I can’t believe she had 26 newborns waiting at one time! People wait forever to adopt babies now…

Add comment

(c) 2016 Leighann Marquiss