No one can deny the beauty and wonder of a child's eyes when they first witness the wonder of Christmas morning. For a former Ohio grandmother, not only will she be able to celebrate the holidays with her 1-year-old grandson and granddaughter, but also with her two older granddaughters, ages 7 and 9, as well as another grandson, age 5. The grandmother has custody of four of the grandchildren.

Instead of enjoying her role as grandmother she has had to step back into the role as nurturer and mother in order to care for her young grandchildren. If she hadn't, four of her grandchildren would have ended up in foster care long ago. The children's mother left them and despite the possibility to losing the children to social services, she left and didn't come back. That's when grandma came to save the day.

Prior to moving back to her childhood home in Lee County, Virginia, the grandmother, was employed in Ohio. In 2005, she decided to quit her job and move back to Virginia in order to be close to her family. Now, she not only helps her 29-year-old son care for his 1-year-old daughter, but she gained custody of the other four grandchildren last year. Now the two adults do the best they can to care for the five children.

Custody and visitation can come in many shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, in an era of divorce and blended families, grandparents can often be left in the wings fighting for an opportunity to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren. Those opportunities can come in the form of a visitation plan designed for grandparents, or as in the case of this grandmother, custody can be granted in lieu of the children being assigned to a foster family.

Source: Times News, "Lee County woman struggles for sake of grandchildren," Steve Igo, Dec. 3, 2011