There's a family, here in the greater PDX area, that I've known for a while now. It's a pretty crazy story with way more drama than anyone should ever have to deal with. The short version is that there's a young mother with a preschooler of her own, who jumped through every hoop necessary to become a foster parent for her three younger siblings. These foster kids have been through worse abuse than most of us could ever imagine.
This is Conner.
This is Tavvi.
Connor and Tavvi's older sister, Steph, has done amazing things. The kids have needed serious therapy. She made sure they got it. They are currently in a private, therapeutic school with friends and a real chance at stability. These are not things that the state (or anyone else) casually offered. Steph has gone to extreme effort and expense to provide the best care possible for these kids. What I consider even more important, they love each other. They are a functioning family, now.
I'm not a lawyer. I'm not sure how or why this is being done, but apparently the state of Virginia, where the biological parents who caused all this pain and trouble currently reside, are taking these kids to Virginia on Tuesday. Not to live with rehabilitated parents, mind you, but to be split up and placed in foster care with people they don't know so that IF the bio-parents decide they are willing to perform the necessary rehabilitation, the kids can be returned to them. But it's been over two years and as far as I know, these parents have made no move to participate in any rehabilitation efforts... so I have to say this sounds like a horrible failure of a system put in place to protect children.
If you look back to my birthday entry from last year, you'll see a bunch of people sitting around... those blue-haired ones... that's who I'm talking about. We're talking about a lot of time, growth, love, security and stability, all gone.
Of course, they can tell it better than I can, so check out:
Tavvi and Connor want to stay home
Mothering.Commune forum discussing this story
Shame on Virginia Blog I don't think I know the woman who's running this one, but Steph and Urban Princess (HRH UP is one of Steph's close friends and is also going to the mat on this) recommend it.
Check it out. If you have advice, suggestions or words of support you can leave them at Steph's site. If you'd rather just comment here, I'll pass them along. Thanks!