My name is Jean Fox. I am the paternal grandmother of a miracle named Nathan.
On the day he was born, January 24th, 2010, Nathan was already addicted to opiates—a tragic consequence of his mom’s and dad’s addiction to heroin. After two weeks, Nathan was moved out of ICU and I could finally hold him for the first time. I haven’t let go of him since.
But it hasn’t been easy. Three days before Nathan was to be released from the hospital, I received a call from the Department of Children’s Services. Since Nathan’s parents were not fit to care for him, I was told that if I wanted him, I had to immediately petition the court for emergency guardianship. I didn’t have any time to think about it. I didn’t need any. There was no way my grandson was going into foster care. Two hours later, I was granted guardianship and our lives changed forever.
Nathan’s condition presented itself with serious health issues throughout his first year: failure to thrive, severe acid reflex, extreme eczema, asthma, heart murmur, immature digestive system, multiple allergies, and a lowered immune system. The first three months required weekly visiting nurses, numerous specialists: gastroenterologist, nutritionist, dermatologist, cardiologist, and Early Intervention Services. As an infant, he suffered tremors that would shake his whole tiny body and all I could do was hold him and pray that they would pass.
My grandson has suffered much in his three years. Today, he is asthmatic and has severe food allergies. But beyond his physical issues, there are long-term emotional ones. He has little hope that his parents will ever be able to care for him, or even play a positive part in his life. I’m doing all I can to give him the life every child deserves: a life filled with nurturing, love, and stability.
Caring for Nathan has depleted my small life savings. A year ago I was able to secure a job as a Teacher’s Assistant which allows me the schedule and time to care for Nathan, and provides some money for us to live.
However, the future looks bleak:
• I’m losing my home of twenty-three years in January
• I earn too much to qualify for aide programs or shelters, but not enough to survive
• I can’t pay for Nathan’s childcare
I am trying to raise $30,000, ($24,000 for two years of childcare, $6,000 for getting situated in an apartment and for covering daily necessities, like food and clothing). In two years Nathan will be able to go to school and my salary should be enough for us to live modestly without the cost of childcare.
Nathan and I would be devastated if we had to be separated. But this is a reality I might soon have to face. I saved him from becoming a ward of the state once. I’m prepared to do it again. Please help me keep my grandson and give him a chance at a normal life.
I can’t afford to keep him. I can’t afford to lose him!