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!