Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Missing Children

Many of you know that my husband has three other children from a previous marriage. Some of you know the circumstances surrounding that. Some of you might not. Its a long complicated issue.

Long story short, his ex-wife wasn't the best parent she could be. The children were left in situations they never should have been left in, neglected, and abused. My husband was given the children, but their behaviors were already so severe that it was hard for him to parent them without help. The state offered help but said they needed temporary guardianship in order to do so. My husband was young and naive and truelly believed they were trying to help him. They didn't. They also didn't get the kids any help either.

Aside from a few visitations spaced far apart and eventually canceled, he didn't see his two girls Abigail (Abby or Abbie, the caseworkers spelled it both ways. I never knew which was she herself preferred it..) and Cynthia much afterwords. Visits were started and stopped. They cited his inconsistencies, but failed to help him meet those expectations. (He had a real hard time in social situations)

When I came into the picture he still had his son Duncan. That only lasted a year. Suffering from what I believe to be an attachment disorder, Duncan was hard to parent. I loved him so much, but the day in and day out was soul stealing. I was drained. We reached out for help and were again blind sighted by the department of health and human services. My husband said it would happen, but I believed differently. I was there! I wouldn't let that happen. Surely they would say what they mean and honestly help us with the situation! ... I didn't realize just how trusting I was.

Never again.

Duncan was taken just days before Thanksgiving 2003. Our daughter Ivy was an infant still, and they threatened to take her as well. They had no reasoning. We were scared anyway. I was too shocked not to be scared. They took the little boy I'd been loving for the past 2 years.

We visited him a few times in foster care, but they terminated visitations when I wouldn't let him hold Ivy. I was afraid to let him hold her. His behaviors included threatening to hurt her and me. He was violent. I didn't want to risk that. I wanted to concentrate on helping him and showing him we cared, not on my issues of trust vs safety. I brought Ivy to visitations, but didn't want him to hold her. That was enough for them to TPR him quickly. We never saw him again. A few years later we received notification that he was adopted.

Both Duncan and Cynthia have found their Forever Family now we've been told. We have no idea where they are or who they are with. We are not privy to that information any longer.

We were told that Abigail was unadoptable, and she'd age out of the system soon. Workers started calling and asking us about the family tree. They wouldn't say why. Later my sister in law Shannon said she was called to a meeting about maybe being a foster placement for Abigail. She sounded hopeful. She went to a few meetings. Chris was never asked to go to any of those meetings.

Nothing ever materialized. We were told Abigail was on the news as Thursdays Child. We watched it. I'm sure Chris cried later on when he thought no one was watching. It was hard to hear her say she just wanted family that loved her. We ARE family that loves her. We love all of them.

I was lucky that I was able to meet Abigail and visit with her a handful of times. She came to the hospital when Ivy was born and got to hold her. Visits soon stopped because she became hostile to staff at her group home because she wanted to go home to her daddy. The more visits they allowed, the worse she was. Or so we were told. So they terminated visits.

I was only able to meet Cynthia once because the state terminated visitations after just one. But she was able to meet her sister Ivy, and able to see her daddy one last time. We brought her a Care Bear for a gift. She was quiet. Nervous, but happy to see him. She was extremely good natured about meeting me for the first time and knowing she was a big sister again. The meeting was excellent, but again we were told her behaviors were worse after she saw us. So visits stopped just as soon as they started. She was adopted a few years later.

We're waiting for the day that they look for us. We'll be here, ready and willing to be a family. We always were here all along. We tried our best, and our best just wasn't enough for them. Hopefully there lives have improved and that they're happy wherever they are. At least that is my hope.

Our home will always be your home. We love you.

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