Friday, December 5, 2008

Wanted to Clarify

I want to thank each one of you for your sweet words of encouragement and support. You have no idea how much that means. I know this system can be confusing but I do want to clarify that CPS (Child Protective Services) WAS ON OUR SIDE. They were fighting for us to get the baby and have her placed in our home with her siblings- forever. The kids were presented to us as a sibling group of five because CPS determined the children would thrive most effectively when placed together in an adoptive family. It was their wish that they remain together, the 3 separate foster families involved agreed and the adoption was set in motion. Then, the foster family of the baby decided just days before placement into our home that they wanted to keep her. (they didn't want to adopt the 4 older children just the baby). So, they hired an attorney who went to court against the CPS attorney to try for permanent custody of the baby. They won. We were not allowed to hire our own attorney because we did not have legal standing (we were just the 'wanna be' adoptive parents trying to make things right for these kids that have already lost so much). The foster family however DID have legal standing to hire an attorney because the baby had been in their home for over a year. Now I will say there are things that CPS should have done (like a find a foster home where they could be together all along or do weekly visits between the siblings) but they did not. (They did visits but not as often as they should have for the judges liking). Therefore, the judge ruled that the sibling bonds were not as strong as the her bonds to her foster family. Looking over it now, in my view there were many mistakes made along the way. The system is not perfect. Humans are not perfect. All I can say is as I held our new children today and watched the tears run down their faces with yet another loss in their young lives- I found it even harder to find a way to help them believe that we too are not ever going to leave them.

17 comments:

Sara said...

Oh Amy, I am soooo sorry. This is just so hard to understand. What the judge doesn't get is that eventually this baby will question why she isn't with her siblings and will feel the affects of that. I pray for your wounded heart, as well as the hearts of your 4 new kiddos.

Mary Ann said...

I am sooo sorry! I will be praying that the Lords will be done and not our own! Just maybe there is a plan that GOd has in store for you all. I would not take anything down or back yet. Pray and wait to see what God has in store.

Angela said...

Oh, this makes my heart hurt---I will be praying--and praying--and praying--

God Bless,
Angela

Melinda said...

I feel so bad for your children. They have already suffered so many losses and now another one. I will be on my knees for you and Todd and the kids. I imagine trust is a hard thing for them to understand, but God will restore them and will heal those broken hearts piece by piece.

Amy said...

My heart is heavy for you and for your children. Praying that the Lord will be able to reach down and comfort these children using your arms. Times like these make me so thankful that the Lord can heal the hurts so much more perfectly than us.

Continuing to pray for your family, that all your children would grow to trust you and feel secure at hearts and at home.

angie said...

I am so sorry. Sometimes there are things in life that we will never understand. I think the answer is to trust God and trust in His plan. It is hard sometimes, especially at times like this, but never forget that He loves us all. I will pray for you and your sweet family.

Rachel said...

I'm so sorry Amy. There are no words. I'll be praying for you and for the children.

Rachel said...

I'm so sorry Amy. There are no words. I'll be praying for you and for the children.

Holly said...

My sweet friend, I can only imagine your heartache. I have no answers. I'm sorry that the box of clothes had little things for her and that it makes your pain worse to look at her things. I can't pretend to understand, but I will stand with you praising God for WHO HE IS regardless of what is happening and trusting Him to redeem and restore. You have been chosen and found faithful. May He fill you up with great joy and strength to press on.
Love,
Holly

Holly said...

My sweet friend, I can only imagine your heartache. I have no answers. I'm sorry that the box of clothes had little things for her and that it makes your pain worse to look at her things. I can't pretend to understand, but I will stand with you praising God for WHO HE IS regardless of what is happening and trusting Him to redeem and restore. You have been chosen and found faithful. May He fill you up with great joy and strength to press on.
Love,
Holly

Flamingo Mama said...

goodness...my heart breaks for you. crazy how they have the ruling that sibling bonds are not as strong as foster family, but yet i know of so many situations where biological bonds win out over anything else..even dangerous situations.

everything I can think of to say sounds so cliche....but you all will get through this time!

Leslie said...

I'm so sorry, Amy. I'm praying for you guys.

Andrea said...

Amy, I work in the legal field. Have for almost 20 years. I have not been in the field of family law and surely are not in the State were they were adopted but please let me know if I can do some research for you with my attorneys. You have my email in case if you want to get in touch. I am so sick to my stomach over this right now. Here I am announcing my great news and you poor thing have to suffer along with your kids over this horrible decision that was made by this irresponsible judge. I hope he can live with this decicison for the rest of his life. All of this doesn't make any sense. I wished you had been in my State because our judge is amazing and would have never let this happen. I really, really hope that this was an open adoption by the foster family of the baby and that they will allow visitation. I hope that was all cleared up prior to finalization.

Tessa said...

Amy ... your last statement was so powerful and so true. The judge should have considered all the children in this decision. My heart breaks for all of you. Not only do you have to deal with your own grief ... you also have to help your children struggle with their own in the midst of their adjustment to your family. Whoa! I will be praying ...

Michelle Riggs said...

Amy, I am so sorry. I hate it that they are going through another loss. I know that you and Todd are great parents who serve a loving and powerful God. God can and will heal your children and He will help them form the bonds that your are praying for.

We love you guys so much. Please call if you need to talk and say the word and I will be be at your house to help you anyway I can.

Carey said...

Praying for you and your family. Especially the newest members...

Anonymous said...

Coming from an adoptee who was separated from his two older brothers at the age of 4 1/2 (they were 6 and 7), and adopted into a troubled marriage that broke apart some 6 years later, there is hope.

And to your comment on whether you will every leave them or "give them back" - this will not change in most for years. It is simply part of the loss and the void is larger than a promise or a single act of encouragement. Unconditional love is very difficult for an adoptee to understand when one has suffered such loss. Each time hope is destroyed (separation from any caretaker is considered a loss), the fear is validated.

You will be frustrated when you know your love is unconditional and it is perceived otherwise, stand fast. When your children resort to standing on the fear that is so normal to them and lash out to tell you "you don't understand and you never will", stand fast. When harmful things are spoken from outside or inside and you have no answers, stand fast. Love will always win out.

They may not understand you, and you will not understand them because God has chosen to allow them to experience loss you do not understand. But this loss builds strengths in them that will take them places others dare not tread. Think of Job, of Joseph, of Moses and others who suffered great loss and then realize that adoptees are no different. Loss of parents is one of the most traumatic things a child can be subjected to.

The judge was wrong. He's never experienced loss. He does not consult with adoptees or foster children for advice. He uses logic. Logic doesn't understand loss. But God is bigger than the judge. Joseph's brothers covered up their envy and their jealousy for his special treatment with a sin that would on the surface, destroy their brother. And even more injustice and lies of Potiphar's wife proved to render even more loss as selfishness appeared to win out. Yet God took all of thought and brought an otherwise spoiled boy to become a man who would use God's insight to stand up for what he knew was right, bring relief to a nation and forgive his family, thus preserving the 12 tribes.

Though I spent three years of my adulthood sleuthing to find my original family (state of CA records are still sealed), to this day my brothers and I have no relationship. Their lives are theirs. God's will is God's will. Yet in my search, and in locating the woman, my mother who relinquished the four of us (I had an infant sister bringing the sibling group to 4), I was introduced to another half brother whom I speak with regularly and have had an intimate relationship with for some 20 years now. His will is not very logial in our eyes.

Know that your love will win out most arguments, misunderstandings and any other unknowns. You will have nights when not even the kindest words will soothe nor will the tears do more than stain your understanding and muddy your fears. In the end, His unconditional love will keep you going and your desire to love them unconditionally will win out. We cannot love unconditionally, no one can. But God continually steps in and He can. Know that their loss is now your loss and you will be forced to endure the by products of it often times without explanation. You will not be able to answer many of the questions that run through their head such as "Why did they give me up?" "Why me?" "Why can't I just go and find them and ask them?" "Why do I have to live with parents who don't understand what I've gone through, where I've been?" "Will you ever simply give up on me like they did?" "Why couldn't I just have normal parents?" "Will people ever leave me alone, quit trying to change me and just let me be the way my parents made me?"

In all, adoption cannot be explained and you will get to deal with things that simply don't make sense. When the honeymoon is over (and it will end at different times for different ones), things will happen without warning or explanation. Seek out help, especially from adoptees. We know why we reacted and we know what it was we couldn't seem to articulate to our adoptive parents. We knew what it would take to calm the waters, but again, no way to articulate it or translaate it even if we could. Adoption has been around for a long long time (history is just now coming to the mainstream). The most recent change is the voice of the adoptee. I'm not talking about the angy voice that so often shrieks above all the rest, but the adoptee who can lend insight into why adopted children behave the way they do. It's all related to loss, to fears and to other things like parentification. And just like the judge does not understand why leaving the baby with the foster family is not right, regular counselors haven't a clue about many of the issues with adoption. Seek out help from those who have been on the other side. It will be a great refuge and you'll suffer far less by doing so....

abandoned with three other siblings 4, separated in the orphanage from his two best friends (6 and 7 year old brothers) during processing, fostered for four months with his infant sister (parentification at 4), adopted into a home of a couple trying to salvage their marriage (adoptive father later left when he reached 10), no chance of college due to unrest and finances, left home after high school, spent three years sleuthing to find birth history and family (age 21 - 24), found all parties who were strewn all over the west coast as well as birth mother was living in Guam, spent one year traveling to meet and get the real story, finally experienced closure and forgiveness for himself and for others and at the age of 25, was free now to go on with life knowing it wasn't his fault. Now a husband of 20 years and a father of 6 year old adopted twins........who were relinquished from their 5 siblings because two more mouths to feed was too much for the farmer and his wife.....