Some love stories are heartbreaking. Others not so much.
Today is two years this baby boy has been in the foster care system. On Valentine’s Day of 2018 he was placed in a caring and loving foster care home. It would take another two months for us to find out where he was.
On the day my husband and I were flying to Peru the GAL in Florida contacted us. She sent pictures of him. He had just turned one a few days before. My husband and I created a new journey with him in our hearts. We were heartbroken and elated simultaneously.
When Luke was born I begged social services in Florida to not let my daughter take him home. She had already lost her first born whom we adopted. But they did nothing. Month after month I would call. They had my number but she kept moving to different counties and that was never followed up.
It’s easy to screw with the system. There is no national registry to inform different counties or states of prior child abuse.
I would text with my daughter asking how she was and how he was. Everything was “always fine.” Even on that Valentine’s Day I sent her a message since she wouldn’t speak to me on the phone.
A month later my deceased father came in a dream and told me that this baby boy was in foster care. I texted my daughter at 5am that day and asked when he was removed. She didn’t know how I knew. She told me he had been removed on Valentine’s. She was now pregnant with her third child.
And after we were finally in contact with Florida it would take another six months to get him into our care even though I am his grandmother and only next of kin.
This little boy was afraid of men. He was malnourished and had stomach issues. The foster family were angels with him. He couldn’t crawl or hold himself up. And today he doesn’t stop running. Today he is the funniest itty bitty comedian who adores everyone, especially my husband (his daddy).
My daughter (his mother) arrived into my life at the age of 9 from a horrible orphanage in Romania. She’s not a monster. She’s the victim of a broken system there. And all four of her children are victims of the system here that requires strong willed folks to fight it.
These are the love stories that are hard to share. These are the parts of humanity that we don’t often want to explore. And it’s okay because one day the system won’t be set up to protect the adult. It will be set up for the protection of the child who has parents that really cannot be parents no matter how many classes or therapy or whatever they finish within the time given to reunify with their kids. Some folks, due to mental disabilities or addiction or other circumstances, will never be able to care for their children. Yet, the law is set up to give them a chance and hope that will never happen.
How do we change it? It starts with creating new laws about the children. How does this happen? Legislators and an array of political obstacles. Where does the money come from? Same place money appears for wars and catastrophic issues. Because this is a catastrophic issue in this country.
He is our future. 650,000 children in the system, yearly, are our futures. I refuse to have them fail or be victims of a broken system. They deserve better. We all deserve the very best.
Two years today he’s been in foster care and there is still zero resolution or an idea of when we will be able to legally adopt him.
His second sister and baby brother are also in care of the state. Both being cared by loving folks.
Love stories also have happy endings. Luke has one. And so many others because of folks who are determined to care for children who have been deeply neglected. There are so many angelic souls opening their hearts and homes to children. And many want to adopt them….
Happy Valentine’s Day, darlings. This little dude is one of my favorite gifts today.