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Dear DHHR, Court System

Please consider this your “dear John” letter.  I could say all of the cheesy things like,  “we can still be friends,” “it’s not you, it’s me.”  But the truth is….it is you, and we can’t.

I have always been your advocate; when others told stories of your ineptitude, failure to support, or lack of caring, I shouted “NO!  That has not been our experience.”

 But today, that ends. 

 Because last night, I had to take our 8 year old foster daughter to the hospital for a raging temper tantrum that you caused.

When our sweet girl walked into our house a year and a half ago, she was the quiet, mild, and subdued one of the 3 sisters.  She was one you could count on to do what you asked, to cuddle up next to you on the couch, or give you sweet hugs and offer to help. 

 Now, I have to walk on egg shells around her for fear that our day will turn into a temper tantrum in hell.  And I blame you.

 If you had not dragged your feet in providing them permanency, if you had stuck to your own regulations and done what you promised this all could have been done and over with.  Our girl would not have had to live in 3 foster homes, with multiple respites.  She wouldn’t have 4 women she sometimes calls “Mommy”  or be worried that someone will come take her in the middle of the night.  She wouldn’t be  filled with so much anger and fear and anxiety that the only way to let it out is to kick and scream, and cry, and yell and tear things, destroying all that is around her. 

If you had all fought harder for the “child’s best interest,” (or for some of you, done your job at all) I wouldn’t have had to call 911 last night.  I wouldn’t be coming up with safety plans for our daughter so that she doesn’t feel afraid when she goes to sleep at night.  

If you had done your job, her adoption, and the adoption of her sisters, would have been complete a year ago, and we’d be 150 steps ahead of where we are now in helping her to feel safe and loved and wanted.

I don’t blame all of you.  Our workers have cared.   But as a system, you suck. 

You name people as guardian ad-litems who are supposed to work for the children’s best interest but never spend more than 3 minutes with said child.  You change judges around so that no one knows what’s going on, or you ignore your own policies. 

 If you were trying harder, you would return to what your mantra should be, “best interests of child trump everything else.”  And our daughter wouldn’t be on the brink of a mental break-down, causing the rest of our family to be trying desperately to keep our heads above water as we wade through the chaos and frustration and fear. 

As a Christian, I believe in redemption.  I believe in transformation.  I believe in second and third and fourth chances.  But I also believe in boundaries, and love and the importance of speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves. 

Our girls have been through hell.  And not all of it was caused by the neglect and abuse of their biological family.  Some it is because of you. 

You owe my children a better childhood, because you are the ones who ultimately took it from them.  

So as you shuffle your paper around, and pass the blame to one another, know that you have lost me as your advocate.  I will no longer stand up for you, because I am instead standing with all of the kids who get lost in your hierarchical system.  I’m standing with the ones who are waiting for your paperwork to match up what has already happened in their hearts and lives, so that they can get back to a normal childhood.  

From now on, it’s not you and me together helping kids.  It’s me against you, trying to grab the children from your reach. 

 Be prepared, because like all mother’s, it is best to stay on my good side.

 

Sincerely,

An Angry Foster/Adoptive Parent



rebecca todd peters

scholar, teacher, preacher

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