A regretful decision

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  • Thank you for sharing with us what happened with the whole situation. I am very, truly sorry that happened to all of you. It is indeed a very warped system because in the little time I spent in her company, I was well aware that she was a very intelligent child. If her IQ was 56 mine is too. And the audacity of a woman to believe a sheet of paper instead of sitting with her and finding out who she was is just plain pitiful. It makes one wonder if she did all the talking to “Abby” during her one hour a month and it took her that long to convince her to run rather than have faith that things would work out. I feel very sorry for all the kids in foster care and can see why there are so many of them now. Hang in there and know that we love you.
    Miss ya too!!!

  • Your story is one of horror. Thank you for sharing it and hopefully it will help some unsuspecting couple think long and hard before getting involved. I do agree with you about the agencies hiding things. This happened to a friend of mine and it was very frightening! After legally adopting the child, they had to give the child back because all of their diagnosis were not made public to the adopting parents. The agency didn’t want the child back even after the adoptive parents proved (by obtaining a special investigative agency) that pertinent information was INTENTIONALLY left out of the child’s paperwork. Some of those diagnosis were potentially life threatening to others in the family. The agency threatened the adoptive parents by claiming they’d take other children that they had adopted if they gave up their parental rights for this child. You are right——the system is messed up and it’s a shame! Someone needs to revamp the entire system, someone who has some COMPASSION AND HONESTY, which seems to be very lacking.

  • Michael, this is a terrible story. And I agree with your final analysis and recommendations. Children of Abby’s age, who have never been taught the kind of behaviour that will help them to get on in life, and to actually make a place for themselves with a new family, and ultimately, in the larger world, are being trained for failure. We live in such a victim culture now. Nobody tells the victims that they can change their lives for the better, and that their past doesn’t need to overshadow and doom their future.

    I am so deeply sorry for you and Kathy. And for Abby. I think you probably represented her best hope. And the incompetence and callousness of those supposedly helping you makes me grind my teeth.
    I saw a lot of this kind of uncomprehending behaviour during a brief flirtation with Social Work. It was not for me. The clients of this system are taught only that they are entitled to something for their sorry past. This is not true. And to foster this belief is a huge disservice to our country, and to the disadvantaged the Social Work class keeps in bondage, because that’s their path to endless employment. We are entitled only to life, and to the opportunity to work to make something of it. Our past griefs are NOT, and should not be, a passport to endless entitlement with no demands for change within ourselves, and striving for growth and maturity.

    Your story makes me sad. But it also makes me angry.

    I’m happy to learn you have so many other children. My loving advice would be to thank God for those children, and to lavish your love and parenting skills on them. They can use it, and will pass it along.

    Much love to you both,

    Anne

  • I’ve watched you through this whole process. I’ve seen you fight for Abby’s rights and to be certain she gets everything she needs — material, emotional, physical, educational, spiritual. I’ve seen you work with her one-on-one. I’ve seen you teach her school lessons and life lessons. I’ve seen you support her dreams. I’ve seen you love her.

    I’ve seen her grow. I’ve seen her learn. I’ve seen her as so much more than paper in a file.

    The loss to all of you because of administrative b.s. is abhorrent. Shame on Jen. Shame on the foster care systems in NH and MA, and shame on anyone else who’s become so jaded in his/her job that the ability to see what pain s/he’s caused is lost. And shame on all of the child welfare/foster care administrators who don’t see the trees for the forest.

    The system has lost a great foster resource in losing you two. Worse yet, the children who could benefit from your fostering are losing, too.

  • What a sad story. NH DCYF has to make changes all around. Not only are most of the case workers arrogant, they leave the parent feeling “less” than what they are. I have friends who use to do fostering, and they told me how the case worker would talk down to them, as if they were idiots.
    You are right, the children are on way to much medication, and for the most part they don’t need it. This must be a way for the State to make money. Why else would you medicate a 4 year old who doesn’t need it.
    I do wish you well. It is sad to lose a child, especially at someone else’s hand.
    May God Bless you.
    Gilbert Jones

  • It is about time someone tried to do something about the mess in the foster care system. I wish you blessings.
    I hope that you are successful in your goals. The system is so messed up, and there are easy fixes if they just looked at it closely.
    1. Take the “power” away from these arrogant case workers that are on some power trip. No good case worker stays in the job if they are a decent human being. Those leave because they don’t want, or can’t put up with the political crap. One case worker should not have the power to pull a child…just because. There should have to be a valid reason…and by valid I don’t mean personality conflicts.
    2. Prepare the children better to become adopted. These children are ill prepared for “real” family life. They won’t succeed if they are not taught. I do agree that most don’t have anything wrong with them other than the fact that they didn’t have the love they deserved.
    3. Make the politicians stick by their campaign promises.
    4. Get rid of bad caseworkers…and start fresh.
    I could go on, but I think you get my thinking.
    God bless you.
    Amelia Schwartz, NH

  • There are so many similar stories we find it unbelievable that Maggie Bishop remains in charge. CVFAPA has a meeting with one of our state representatives on September 13. See our web site for details, especially the “Meetings” page. DCYF’s worst nightmare is for foster parents to organize against them. The second worst nightmare is for legislature to regulate them more stringently. Since foster parents fear retaliation, more regulation seems to be the desirable alternative. DCYF will not be at this meeting. We welcome other foster/adoptive parents.

  • My husband and I have a similar story of incompetent and corrupt social workers in California. We had an 11-yr-old girl in our home for 6 months with the intention to adopt, and were thwarted at every turn by the girl’s county social worker. The social worker met Anna (not her real name) at the same time that Anna was moving into our house. Anna was in special ed, but had an educational and psych assessment that showed she had more ability than she’d been given credit for. The first time we met the social worker, she admonished me for saying that Anna had ability. “You can’t say that, because you’ll make her feel like she has to live up to something” and “I’ve got 20 years in the field”.

    While in our care, Anna’s reading level went up nearly 3 grades. Yet her social worker, the social worker’s supervisor and the wraparound team all worked against us. We were accused by the social worker and her supervisor of pushing Anna too hard, when we were really trying to save her from being illiterate. The social worker had secret meetings with the wraparound team to discuss us (we found out about this from Anna’s CASA, who was the only one working for her).

    Since Anna left our home she has had 2 psych hospitalizations that we know of. She was doing really well in our home. Losing her was devastating to my husband and me, but we both feel that had we known the foster care system is this dysfunctional we NEVER would have gotten involved.

    • I am really sorry for your loss. I truly understand what you went through.
      It is so sad that these “experts” don’t really have a clue to who these children really are. So many adoptions are thwarted or go wrong because of the case worker. It seems we had similar situations, and it is truly sad that “our” children lost out on a good home because of the system. In fact, we were ready to adopt up to four more children (we already have 6 grown children), so the system not only messed with the first adoption, it ruined it for at least 3 other children. We made this site in hopes of sparing a family from what us, you, and others have gone through. We have gotten several emails from people that have gone through the same thing.
      I truly hope that someday the system will be fixed and the children find loving homes…but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
      Be well, and know in your heart that you did what was best for her. You made an impact on her life that no corrupt social worker can ever take away from you.

  • We feel like this particular social worker, her supervisor and the wraparound team all viewed our foster daughter as a lost cause. We also think they view social services as an intermediary step to the criminal justice system – that the kids will end up locked up anyway, so why bother? What an unbelievable experience. We had no idea when we started that we wouldn’t all be on the same team, advocating for Anna. We had no idea that social services would view us as adversaries. When we started this process, Anna had a different social worker who we liked, and she advocated for Anna. Well, the nice social worker quit her job right as Anna was entering our home, and Anna was assigned to this unbelievably horrible woman who put up roadblocks and wanted to keep Anna with the inept, enabling wraparound crew forever!

    You are so right when you say the system doesn’t teach these kids who to live in a family. The system is about enabling dysfunctional behavior, doping the kids up (Anna was doped up, too) and coddling the kids so they don’t learn accountability. It’s so incredibly tragic for the kids, for prospective adoptive parents and for all of us as a society.

  • I’m sorry. I know you dont know me, but lets just say I came from the “Abby” side of the situation. My story takes place in Florida. I was adopted the first time when I was young. I cannot remember when though. Maybe i was around 2? I was adopted with my brother and half sister. I have another sister and half sister. “I consider my siblings full blood but just putting out specifics.” So maybe 4 years down the road we were removed from there due to child abuse by the father. Then multiple foster homes …. When I was 9 I was introduced to this couple M&C. We visited for a little bit and then I moved in with them. In florida you can have a kid for 90 days and then adopt. As a kid there is always a “testing it out phase” as the parents put it these days. Well I was there past the 3 months, I was there for 7 they wanted to make sure I was ready. I was ready by that point to be adopted by them and they were ready too. I truly loved them and still do to this day. But DCF decided that I had been there too long and they wouldn’t by that point let them adopt me. It was the worst feeling ever… The system is soo messed up. So M&C got very depressed and I turned into a mean little kid. I wanted nothing to do with anyone, I wanted that couple as my parents and it didnt matter to anyone what I wanted. I feel like the system messes up everything. So i went to live with a pre-adoptive couple right before christmas. I decided that I did not want to live there at all. Thus, onto another home… Went to live with this couple C&J they had a daughter 2 years younger than me and another foster girl that was about 2 yrs old. I was adopted by them when I was 10. I did not want to be there. I was merely a playmate for her daughter and I didnt go to vacations with them, they left me at my brothers house (which was ok cuz i never got to see him anyway). I ate separetly and stayed in after school care till it ended. I hated them. I rebelled I was so angry. They had me go to counseling and I told her that I did not want to be there in that home. I informed her of everything that went on. She was able to remove me out of that home… Went to live in another foster home then. I think almost a month after my 12th birthday I was introduced to R&R. We had been visiting for about a week when I came home from school one day. I was mad at another girl for lying to me. So I drove my electric scooter around the neighborhood at full speed. Was hit my a car and air lifted to the hospital. The couple saw me leave in the helicopter but didnt know it was me. So being in the hospital by foster parents visited me once and so DCF decided that this couple “who had stayed with me the entire time.. missing work and only knowing me a week” would be allowed to have temporary custody of me. After 90 days I was adopted. This was my last adoption. That was 9 years ago. I wanted to share my story to basically say that after all the homes the bad ones and good ones alike DCF messed up. They dont listen to the good people. I should have stayed with M&C when I was 10. I do love my parents very much though (R&R). But i hate DCF for putting me and them through all that heartache. To think that they placed me with several horrible couples and let the good ones go because all they wanted was for me to be ready. I completely understand where your coming from. The caseworker never cared when I was 10. She never stopped to listen. It was like we werent people. just a case file. I am truly sorry that you had to go through all that with such an ignorant person. Hopefully “Abby” remembers you for the good you did in her life.

    Always,
    Amanda

  • I am so sorry for what hapened to you and also sorry to say that we had one othe worst expereinces of our lives in TX. were given foster children that exactly matched what we COULD NOT take into our home because we already had an impressionable autistic teenage girl and animals. we were sent boys that were agressive,ADHD,hurt animals,smeared feces,had rage issues and one was void of any empathy. In 3 days they broke,picture frames,decorations,the TV, computer games and took the screws out of our coffee table. both my husband and myself were supervising them at all times. Nobody can react in time to the rage and destruction these children displayed. we were told that all were basic care with normal behavior. what a lie !!!!! they were all also developmentally delayed. our daughter was so traumatized by their behavior that it set her back almost a year and a half. we called numerous times to DFPS and got NO and i mean NO help whatsoever. we could have provided children with a new beginning and a loving structured home but we will ever do this again just to avoid the liars from boystown here in SA TX. my husband finally had to threaten to physically bring them back when we got to the point where we had to send our own daughter to stay at her grnadparents. Boystown threatened to charge us with child abandonment. we are so heartbroken. all we wanted was a family. after the moths of hard work and money spent we are left with nothing but a broken heart and exhaustion. we had said that we would take 2 of the boys who were less care and becuase it was decided that they should be seperated. we were given 30 minutes notice and told to have them ready to be taken. that was it. in the middle of dinner they were taken. after all our hard work and requests for help and standing in the midst of our torn up home, two ladies came in and treated us like we did not exist and took them as if we did something wrong. in our own home!!!!!! they lied to us about everything and would not listen to us about the reality of the boys behavior. their files do not read any different and they are set up for failure again im sure. what a shame!!!!

  • I wish that I had read your story about 14 years ago!! I agree with you, never adopt from NH DCYF. There was and has been no support what so ever! My adopted child has been on probation for about 6 years. Spent time in group homes and now they are trying to make us pay for the time there. I don’t have 500.00 per day to pay, but more importantly, I didn’t create this child’s problems. The promises they made vaporized. I believe that there are many more people just like us!

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