I know a little more today than I knew yesterday about the children whose adoption was to be finalized next week who were unceremoniously dumped back into the social services system. One thing I learned is that my neighbors wanted to keep the little girl and just give the boy back. This may be gossip because it came from a third-party, but they apparently never wanted two additional children beyond the one they already had. They wanted the perfect family of four.
If this is indeed true, it seems that they could have figured this one out about sixteen months ago before they took both children into their homes under the guise of adopting both of them and freaking changing their first names. if you're going to go so far as to change what a child has been called his or her entire life, at least make sure it's going to last for longer than a used car.
Social workers are sometimes given a bad rap for being bureaucratic, lazy, or uncaring, but in this instance, a social worker was thinking with his or her mind and heart. As devastating as being kicked out of a family at the ages of two and four must be, how much worse it would have been for the little boy to have been forced to go alone without his big sister. My gratitude to the person who refused to allow that to happen is immense.
My mom says that who are we to judge, as we've never opened our home either to foster a child or to adoption, but there's something to be said for knowing one's limitations. Don't get into the business -- particularly the adoptive branch of the social services organization -- if, at the first sign of difficulty, you are going to put a child on the next plane back to Russia or call the people who delivered the children to come pick them up as though it was the SPCA. For that matter, I don't even believe in adopting animals unless one is damned serious about it. Perhaps if a dog practically kills a person's great-grandmother, other arrangements may need to be made, but in general, I always thought adoptions were for life.
The neighbors didn't send any toys with the children, and in terms of clothing, they were carried out with only the pajamas they had on their little bodies. I don't know if the neighbors are planning a colossal yard sale or if they're saving the goods for the next child they hope to get. My dad says he hopes they're never again allowed custody of as much as a stray cat.
Once my mom, looking out the window like Gladys Kravitz, figured out what was happening, she ran upstairs into the attic and grabbed the crib quilts with matching stuffed animals that had adorned Matthew's and my cribs when we were babies but that we had never actually slept with because they were too expensive to be contaminated with barf or urine on a daily basis. My mom had been saving them for our babies, but she decided she could buy new quilts and stuffed animals when we needed them for our own children. It was more important to offer some tiny gesture of comfort to the two little ones whose lives were being unexpectedly turned upside down. As the social workers carried the children out, my mom met them at the car and handed the gender-appropriate blanket and stuffed animal to each child.
My mom is quietly organizing a toy drive among the neighbors. We know what a lot of the toys the children owned were. They're being replaced so that the children may have familiar toys without the new prospective adoptive family going bankrupt. My Aunt Ilianna spoke to a social worker connected with the case to obtain the sizes of the children, so they know have appropriate cute, and well-fitting wardrobes. Neither adoption, clothing, nor toys are cheap.
At this point, we cannot know the whereabouts of the children. In the future, at the discretion of the adoptive (I don't know an icon for crossed fingers) family, that may be allowed to change. If that happens, my mom suggested it might be appropriate to have a small celebration at their new home (the children should probably never return to our neighborhood until they are much older for their own peace of mind) to validate their memories and so that they could know the neighbors had not forgotten about them.
This is not about me. I knew and loved the children and was a small part of their lives -- in addition to babysitting, Matthew and I taught the little girl to ride a two-wheeler --
but it's more a case of having to face an extremely ugly occurrence going down right in one's own cul-de-sac. Here's to hoping that the lives of these tiny children are right now taking a turn for the better, and that hearts that may never mend entirely will heal at least to the point that these babies may one day be functional adults with the ability to trust and love.
I'd like to offer a prayer and a truckload of positive thoughts on behalf of the new prospective adoptive parents. May their hearts be in the right place, may they know just what it is into which they're getting, and may they be up to the task.
This Gordon Lightfoot video is dedicated to my little former neighbors, but even though certain parts don't apply, it also make me think of the Lt. Col. and how he felt when he was in one place and his children were in another.
P.S.I hope you can see the video. it shows up on my dad's computer but not mine. I'll give the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38ik4yZg45o