Our Adoption Story: pt. 2

Here is the link to part one.

Our homestudy got approved and we continued looking at files. We found one of two girls and decided to meet them at one of the picnics. They were 6 & 7 year old and we deicded to find out more about them. About a week later we were told that the younger one was being to abusive to the other and they had decided to adopt them seperately but that the younger one wasn't ready yet and were we still interested in the older one. We decided to pass because we were really interested in siblings.
Then Pat called us to say that the three siblings that were in placement with the other family, had been returned back to their foster home because it didn't work out! Wow, talk about mixed feelings. I felt horrible for those kids, being rejected like that but I was happy that we had a chance to meet them.
Their caseworker, Jennifer called us and we set up an appointment to meet with her and read their file.
They had been in foster care for 4 years, having been removed at 9 months, almost 4 years old and 6 and a half years old. They had been seperated for a year because they couldn't find one home for all three but they did visits with them when possible. Their last three years in foster care was in one home, with foster parents Pat & Bill and two other foster children, a 5 year old boy and a 17 year old girl. We found out they were biologically related on the bio. mothers side (she's white) and that there had been three different bio. fathers, two black and one white, which would explain the difference in skin color, Shawna being white and Jacqueline & Cimion being biracial.
We read about the abuse and neglect they suffered while still in the care of their bio. mother. We all know child abuse exists but to read about it from police and court reports in detail is stomach turning.
We also found out that the failed placement was their second failed placement. My God! That is so damn damaging to these babies! To be rejected after being hyped once is bad enough but to have it twice is cruel. What the hell is wrong with these families??!! Don't they know these are human beings they're playing with? It makes me so sad to think about what they went through.
Because of their two failed placements, Jennifer wanted to wait a while before we met them and even said that Shawna told her she didin't want to meet anymore families. We spent about a month, meeting with Jennifer, reading their files, meeting with their teachers, former caseworkers and therapists. We knew more about these three than they even knew about themselves.

I went back to the archives of Forever Parents and found some of my old posts and I'm going to copy them here as I go along. I'll post them in italics.

This one is from 2/22/03 and is titled "A Possible Match"

We've been spending the last 2-3 weeks reading the file of a sibling group of 3. (ages 4, 7 & 10, two girls and a boy). We've met with their worker several times, the district supervisor and the guardian ad litem. We still have to meet with their teachers, therapists and foster parents. Their case worker gave us a copy of The Battered Child.
It's a little hard to be happy though. The only reason why these children are even available is because their biological mother negelcted and abused them and even spent time in prison for felony child abuse. It's a weird feeling for me to know that these childrens suffering is what's making this possible. Does that make sense and has anyone ever felt that?
Their biological mother is white and they each have different biological fathers. The middle child has a white b.father and the other two have black b.fathers, making them bi-racial.
The youngest one is basically doing okay and doesn't have any memory of her b.parents and the abuse. The middle child has been diagnosed with ODD & ADHD. The oldest one has been diagnosed with ADHD and is developmentally delayed. They had 2 failed placements and that sent up a big red flag for me. The information we received was that the first placement was over a year ago and failed after about 3 weeks because the couple was having marital problems and decided to get a divorce. The second placement was a few months ago and also ended after 3 weeks. This one ended due to several issues. One was that the wife favored the middle child and was ignoring the other two. Also the husband talked his wife into the placement and she wasn't ready for 3 children. The oldest told the wife that he hated her and she said that she felt that he would get violent, although he didn't and has no history of violence.
I think we're going to try and meet them Friday. We've been stopping ourselves from becoming emotionally involved until we meet them and we're doing a pretty good job of keeping a level head with this. The district supervisir did say that the middle girl has been diagnosed RAD and also possibly having PTSD. He said that so many of the symptoms are the same that it's hard to actually say she has one disorder over another and that it's probably a combination of several. He also said that whatever disorders she does have are mild to moderate. Although most of the physical abuse was directed at the boy, the middle girl was affected the most because she took on the "mother" role and feels responsible for her siblings.
*sigh* What problems these kids have in their short lives.

Finally the day came.
On February 28, 2003, we met them at a small picnic area off the Gulf of Mexico. Jannifer was there and also Sheila Aja, their guardian ad litem. We stayed about 3 hours and basically, just hung out and kept it very casual. We bought a camera and took some pictures and Sheila bought a couple of board games.

This is our first group picture:

Jacqueline (4 years old) was very quiet and in the shadow of her sister the whole day. Shawna (7 years old) was mean and controlling, especially toward Jacqueline and Cimion (10 Years old) was on his best behavior and told me he loved me. How sad.
As we were leaving, I asked Shawna if they wanted to meet with us again and she said "Okay, as long as you don't lie to us".

This post was from 2/28/03 and was titled "We met the kids".

Oh boy! We just got back from meeting the sibling group that we're considering. We spend about 2 hours with the three of them, their guardian ad litem and their caseworker. It went really well. The boy spent a lot of time with my husband, which is what the case worker had told us he would do. Most of his conversations with me were about his imaginary uncle that takes him places and does things with him. The middle girl was looking for attention, especially when we gave it to one of the other kids. The little was was fine and talked to both of us. All three of them are really cute kids and were on their best behavior.
We went to their foster house afterwards and made plans to call them during the week and to see them again next Saturday. It's hard to tell anything from the first meeting because like I said, they were on the best behavior. As we were getting ready to leave, I asked them if they wanted to get together with us again and they all said yes. The middle girl looked at me and said, rather seriously, "No lies, okay?". So sad that a 7 year old girl would feel it needed to say that. They've been hurt and they don't want to be hurt again.

This post is from 3/4/03:

We spoke to them on the phone tonight. The little one was all giggles and she sounds like Minnie Mouse so it was hard to understand her. The middle one is very cautious about this being they just had a failed placement last fall. She verbalizes what all three are feeling. The older boy is quite talkative and wanted to know when they could see our house. I'm wiped out just talking to them on the phone!!

Continued in part three

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Henry Cate said...

Thank you for sharing your experience in adoptation. My wife and I have thought some about adopting. It is informative to read about your experience.