Thursday, February 18, 2010

Foster Care

We've had quite a bit of information yesterday about some things going on that could be quite life altering. Not to us, per se, but to Braeden's brother and sister. I hesitate sharing too much, but am pretty secure in the safety of this blog, even more so than Facebook. Just know that I have prayed much on the sharing of the following information, but share it in the hopes that others can learn from this, to share what we're going through presently, and to ask for prayers.

Braeden's brother and sister, who are currently in third and first grade, have not yet been adopted by my friend who parents them. I can't explain why as I don't really know myself. When I try to ask I get short answers that don't tell me much, so I stopped asking after a while and will only bring it up sporadically. They also don't understand the fact that they are in fact foster children, nor do they understand that my friend, T, is not their birth mom. The oldest MAY remember some visits, etc, but termination happened in July of 2005, that was 4 1/2 YEARS ago, and to an eight year old that's a lifetime. His sister was even younger and she truly doesn't know any different. What makes it harder is that my friend T doesn't talk to them about the situation. They haven't been told they have another family, mom, dad, etc. Braeden knows he's adopted, knows he has birth parents, and while it's age appropriate sharing, he knows. They don't.


I say all of THAT to lead into THIS, for that is the biggest issue that is now at hand. Because for these two dears, their life, their world, is possibly about to be turned UPSIDE DOWN and I can only imagine the damage that is potentially about to be done.

Yesterday I received a call from a friend who is a caseworker. She ran into Braeden's bio parents and they stopped her to talk. They told her that they received a letter (this is my biggest WHAT??? I have about all of this, how could they have even received something of this nature) telling them that my friend's two kiddos had not yet been adopted. Termination happened 4 1/2 years ago. They have no ties to them. I don't get how they would be told this. Anyway, they told the caseworker that they can't believe the kids still aren't adopted and are going to fight it. When asked then about my Braeden, they said that they knew he was adopted and fine, but can't believe the other two were still not adopted.

I was worried at this point, but really didn't think that they had a leg to stand on. I wasn't going to contact T about what I had heard, and was just praying like nothing else. Mind you, I was not sure exactly what to pray for. But was definately praying for these two kids caught in the middle. Do I WANT them to leave my friends', no. We see them, know them, spend time with them. BUT, is it right that they have not been adopted yet, no. I haven't felt is was/is for a long time now. Braeden came to me a YEAR after they had already been living with T. And his adoption was completed LONG ago.

Then last night T called me, so I knew something was definately going on. But, came to find out through our conversation that she actually didn't know anything about what I had heard, instead, she received a very disturbing phone call from her agency. They told her that beginning this Friday, TOMORROW, her two kids will be having visits with their adult siblings. (Our kids have sibs from the same two birth parents who are adults. They were never in the system to my knowledge.) The kids have NEVER met or had visits with these siblings before. Parental rights are terminated. And from the phone call I had earlier in the day, I just knew something was at work, so I told her about my call and what I had heard. She was already beside herself with the news about the visits. My info just made this harder to hear. I told her she needed to call her agency TODAY and MAKE them tell her exactly what is going on, because I am sure that there is more to it. Now that I've had some time to process a little more, my guess is that the parents can't "fight" the termination/adoption, but are having the siblings do it. Possibly to get the kids placed with them???? That's my feeling. And are they "wrong" in this? I can't answer that. I don't want to go there. It is such a hard hard position. I am just constantly praying for these kids.

Beyond all of this, I did tell the caseworker when I spoke to her, that if they see the parents again, to please please offer them my PO Box if they would like to get updates on how Braeden (by his former name) is doing. I would love to provide info for them if they're interested and see where God may lead in developing some sort of relationship. Braeden would also LOVE to have a connection of some kind: a picture, a letter, something. I pray that this would happen before we left the area.

So, my heart is burdened. And it's laid out for you to see. I can see this from so many sides. So many emotions. So much heartache. I pray whatever happens, it is all in the kids' best interests. And that THEY are left stable, secure, and loved. Because right now I'M a mess!

5 comments:

I am shocked that the state has allow them to linger in care. As soon as TPR took place on our guy we had to decide within 30 days weather or not we were going to adopt. We choose not to adopt him, so they started seeking an adoptive family.

If we had chosen to adopt him, we would have went fwd with the adoption ASAP. Why have they been allowed to linger in the system for years? If your friend didn't want to adopt them, they should have been given the chance to find their forever family. Also how do they not know that they are foster children? Do the case workers not visit? Do they know Braeden is their brother?

Sorry if I seem just mental just trying to wrap my head around this.

Lisa said...

I know what you mean with trying to figure this out... :) My friend did not get into this to adopt, BUT once she had these two for the two and half or so years prior to TPR, she couldn't not keep them either, so she did want to adopt. Truly I think in her heart she wrestled with the decision. I think she was also a little daunted having to pay day care for both of them once an adoption happened. At the same time, both were being made specialized due to many health appts and such and thus transferred to another specialized agency, thereby starting over in some regards and areas. BUT, I think that the adoption should have happened LONG ago. Thus my torn feelings toward all of this. Yes, workers visit, but very sporadically and they don't understand who these people are. They do know Braeden is there brother, but I don't know the youngest really understands that. The older will often say things to people about having a brother whom their mom (meaning my friend T) "gave" to me. He has asked T to "come get Braeden" and bring him there, etc. It's so hard and I don't get her not talking to them about these things at all. Braeden understand MUCH more than they do and they're older. I think all of those reasons and things though are why the agency is at the point it is right now.

Sara said...

I honestly don't even know how to wrap my mind around all of that. It seems utterly ridiculous--all of it. I will begin praying for Braeden's siblings who are caught in the middle of adult idiocy.

Julie said...

I suspected it had to do with them- I am heavy hearted too- is there an option for YOU to take them? Would you want that? is it possible? I am praying for God's lead for this whole situation. it is crazy they have lingered!

Lisa said...

Julie, I've thought about it, but I really think they're at the point where they'll say "You have this much time (agency and my friend) to get the adoption done, or we will place with a relative. I am totally guessing, but can't at all see a court taking the kids when they've been with her seven years, and not allowing some time to finish what should've been done long ago. And if it doesn't, then I don't think they'd place with anyone other than a relative. Of course, it's all speculation at this point. No clue and the agency isn't telling T anything yet except that they are meeting with the family to discuss visits. I am sure there's more to it than that.

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I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!


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