Wow, Sue! Quite a story! I'm glad to see that this young man was raised with love and received good care, despite his parents' lack of interest or concern. TG for those GGPs!
It always boggles my mind when parents are so disinterested in their child! And when none of the GPs can/will step in (I realize, sometimes it's just an unfortunate set of circumstances), nor any aunts and uncles (if any) and the care falls to the GGPs! We've had 3 or 4 GGMs come in here, in the past, though I don't think I've seen them since the new site opened/don't think they "made the jump," for whatever reason. And I believe I've mentioned b4 that my parents had full care of a great-nephew for about 5 years b4 his dad took him to live with him (his dad was always in the picture though). The GPs were all either, sadly, deceased or unable and/or just unwilling to take on the job of raising another child and none of the aunts or uncles were old enough (the parents, in this case, were college-age, also, when baby was born). And yet, still, this situation always astounds me!
And yes, sometimes "this all works out for the best all the way around." The parents don't have to carry out a responsibility they can't/don't want to have. The child is loved and cared for, anyhow. And the GPs - or GGPs or great-aunts-and-uncles, or whoever - have an additional person who loves them and is there for them, one way or another, in their old age. And sometimes, the child eventually goes to live with one or both of their parents but still maintains a warm, loving relationship with the GPs or other relatives who raised them for so long. Or they reunite with one or both parents when they grow up, w/o it damaging their relationship with the family members who were there for them all those years.
But not always, as I'm sure you know. Sometimes, on these boards, I've heard about cases where the parent, finally ready and willing to take their child back (a good thing, in itself, of course), tries to downplay the GP/other relative's role in the child's life and push them away or cut them off. And sometimes, I've heard of cases where the GP/relative tries to undermine the child's relationship with the parents and the parents CO the GP/relative to save their "new" family unit. Still other times, I've read of a kid reunites with the "missing" parent when they're older and, unfortunately, turning against the GPs/relatives who raised them.
And all of this is giving me an idea for a new thread...
But, anyhow, I'm glad you showed us. Sue, that a story with such a seemingly sad beginning can have a happy middle and ending. And that you illustrated for us how this can happen w/o drugs or alcohol being involved.