A Thousand Words: Feb. 14, 2012

WKU alumna Joyce Jones, 57, along with her husband Dion, takes care of their grandchildren, Hope and Bryan Jones, who are 8 and 6 years old. Joyce reads a couple of books to Hope and Bryan every night before they go to bed.

Jabin E. Botsford

WKU graduate Joyce Jones, 57, and her husband, Dion, 51, are raising their grandchildren.

After a couple years of marriage, the couple decided that they wanted to adopt a girl from China, but their adoption fell through at the last minute. At the same time, unknown to them, Dion’s son, Daniel, was having relationship problems with his wife. His two children were caught in the middle.

“Daniel was trying to make a living the best he could, and he couldn’t really take care of them, and the mom didn’t really want to take care of them,” Dion said. “In order to give the best care we possibly could for the kids, we asked for adoption.”

Although it was a difficult decision, Daniel agreed to it, knowing his parents could give a better life to the young children.

Hope is now 8 years old, and Bryan is 6.

Dion and Joyce have friends who are also grandparents, as well as younger friends who are raising children.

“We don’t fit in with the young crowd,” Dion said.

Over his years with the children, Dion became more patient.

“I now would not change it back for nothing because I feel like we have got a second chance on raising kids,” he said.

Dion has been a truck driver for 21 years. He usually leaves on a Monday morning after dropping the kids off at school and gets back on a Friday night or Saturday.

“They don’t get to see me very often, and when I’m in on the weekends, then I pretty much take over and Joyce  gets to have a little bit of relaxing from the kids,” he said.

“It’s a stress on Joyce because she does everything when I’m gone. She’s the maid. She’s the cook. She gets them ready for school, bed, and so sometimes it overwhelms her.”

With Dion and Joyce both being in their 50s, they sometimes wonder if they will be around long enough to see the children grow up, but for now they are finding joy in their adopted children.

“Our adoption in one sense came through after all,” Dion said. “We just didn’t have to fly to China.”