Audrey and I share a passion...protecting children. She's in the trenches daily, involved in the white hot drama of the removal, court hearings, investigations, accusations and the children's raw emotions, and oftentimes injuries.
I live in the trenches with the aftermath. After every service has been put into place to help the birth parents do their job of properly taking care of their children to prevent removal. I don't have the statistics about the successes of family reunification, I live with the failed attempts, the physically and emotionally injured children. Sometimes I feel like I am living with war victims that barely survived the bombs so deep are their wounds.
I have had the most superb workers involved with my children, mainly from Texas, and two wonderful south Georgia workers. These particular workers made it their mission to keep these sibling groups together, even when one or more of the kids presented a clear possibility of ruining it for the others. My children all remember and appreciate these efforts by their workers.
My beef is with all the other phone calls I have made in my own journey, and in working with Adopt America Network, when I encounter the often temporary worker, or indifferent worker who refuses to consider the experienced family I am presenting as they search for the non-existent "experienced childless couple" for a sibling group with severe issues.
Because I usually represent large families, I have to explain over and over why these families are quite often the best resource for children. I often use Claudia's 15 Reasons on why large adoptive families are a great resource for waiting children as it hits the nail on its head.
Each of the sibling groups that I have adopted had younger sibs who were faced with the threat of being split off from that group if an adoptive home could not be found.
So now we can share the blame in that there are just not enough adoptive homes, not enough people willing to adopt a group of children, especially if there are older children. And I would never want anyone to feel guilted into doing so, its gotta come as a calling from the heart for it to work in any way.
I've said it often but it bears repeating. Usually the older children in the group were the easiest to raise, Cristy was my only exception. Edgar, Jesse, Deysi, Javy and Sabrina were my easiest kids...the "parent" of each group...glad to share the responsibility with me, a grown-up.
Sabrina is a happy, carefree fifth grader now. She does not worry anymore about losing Tabby and Nando to a different family. Sabrina might have been mouthy maybe one time in 11 months whereas 3 year old Tabitha has been demanding, needy and destructive. Most rookie adoptive parents would have expected the youngest to be the easiest and that has never been the case here. If some unsuspecting couple had just adopted Tabby and Nando they'd have ended up with two raging toddlers who were grief-stricken over the loss of Scotty and Sabrina.
Scotty has certainly been a high-maintenance, emotionally needy, and behaviorally challenged youngster but he was faced with the vague possibility of losing three siblings. Pam, his worker, made dern sure that they stayed together...she also worked diligently and faithfully to return a very troubled, but vastly improved, Joey here with his three siblings.
I should chose my words carefully because I have only worked with workers who cared. The workers who didn't care obviously are not the workers that were involved with the construction of our family. I apologize for offending Audrey and all the others.
If it were not for these social workers many of my children would not even have physically survived their childhoods. That is a sobering thought for me as the mom.