But Sylvia is hurt just the same by the letter she received (Jack didn't want her to open the envelope, but he wasn't home when Sylvia got it). There was the usual bla-bla-bla which Sylvia knows is untrue, as her other children function just fine, in college and doing well. That wasn't so upsetting to Sylvia as the accusation.
It seemed Lulabelle accused her parents of taking the children into their home, providing for them and adopting them because (are you ready for this) they wanted to replace Lulabelle. Lulabelle knows this. Apparently she was lurking on a game site where the eldest grandchild also plays. Lulabelle thinks her parents are much too good to the child, and the other two children, as well.
Yes, you read that correctly. It appears Lulabelle is jealous of her own children.
If Sylvia and Jack really, truly loved Lulabelle, the children would be with Lulabelle right now. Sylvia and Jack would help Lulabelle by stopping the adoption, coming to their senses (Lulabelle's exact words), give Lulabelle the money they are currently spending on the children and the adoption, and continue to give Lulabelle money for the grandchildren. They OWE it to Lulabelle, according to same, because they tried to replace Lulabelle with her own children.
I would be speechless. I've been told and heard many things from my adult daughter, including that I allegedly mentally abused her every day of her life until she left (that would be 28 years, including when she was in college and her 3 years of military service some overseas time, but nevermind). I've heard things that have been said by other people's adult children, and they are equally disjointed of logical thought.
But this Lulabelle left her children with Sylvia one weekend and just never returned, over 3 years ago. Sylvia and Jack went through the anguish of fearing Lulabelle dead or worse. They hired private detectives when the police could do nothing, located her the first time one state over from theirs. They then went through the work to try to get her to come home, to try to work with a therapist to resume her place in her children's lives, got turned down; went through the work of finding Lulabelle a second time; learned their lesson a third time. Sylvia and Jack have been above-board on the adoption process in their state, and with their other adult children and the extended family.
Yet Lulabelle feels slighted. Boo hoo, boo hoo.
When a parent has to make the choice for their grandchildren and against their adult child who is the biological parent of those grandchildren, it is certainly not to replace the old child with the new ones! No child can ever replace another. Each and every child is unique, as parents who have lost children to death will tell you.
Each and every day there is the nagging suspicion that there is just ONE THING the parent can do to repair the shattered relationship with the adult child who caused this in the first place, if only the parent could see clearly what needs to be done. Too often, there is nothing to be done, and the relationship is unrepairable in its present state.
The adult child will not admit to having done anything wrong. Admitting any type of wrong-doing would be the start of repair. Oh no. It's so much easier to blame Mom and Dad. After all (this is one I've heard more than once), everybody has some good in them, and we have to accept the good with the bad in people. Mom and Dad are judgmental.
I can't think of any way to help Sylvia. My only thought right now is the words to the song "In Heaven's Eyes" from the animated movie Prince of Egypt:
A single thread in a tapestry
Though its color brightly shine
Can never see its purpose
In the pattern of the grand design.
When we take on the retread parent role, we have no idea of our purpose in the pattern of the Grand Design, or how the Grand Designer sees our efforts. But I'd wager we're doing the right thing, no matter what our Lualbelles and Juniors say. Hopefully, our grandchildren will see our worth through Heaven's eyes, as well, when they are grown. For now, we're just going to have to trust and keep it up.
But if you'd like to listen to the song (it is a beautiful number), here you go: