|This is not my former neighbor, as I wish to protect his privacy.|
An unfortunate incident occurred in my neighborhood. In the grand scheme of world-related tragedies, this one barely pings, but two little lives were torn apart. Perhaps everything will work out of the best, but in the interim I'm left feeling somewhat sick about it.
A couple who lived just across the street and down the cul-de-sac from us had one child and were apparently unable to have more. Their child is eleven. They took in two tiny siblings as foster children about sixteen months ago with the intention of adopting the children. The little girl was almost three when they were placed with my neighbors, and the little boy was just over a year old. The children arrived with the scars that one might expect a baby and toddler to have who, for reasons unbeknownst to me, were permanently removed from their biological parents, yet the children appeared to be thriving. The foster parents even changed the children's first names in anticipation of the adoption. I had babysat them, along with the couple's biological child, on what I believe was six occasions. The children were beautiful, smart, cute, funny, lovable, and everything for which a parent should hope in a child.
I found out this morning that last week, which was just a month prior to the supposed finalization of the adoption, the couple returned the children to foster care. The children are supposedly now in an excellent foster home with a childless couple -- two teachers -- who want to adopt them. On the other hand, I thought they were in an excellent foster home before. Furthermore, it's early in the process. Will the new couple still want the children a month or a year from now? Even if they do, will the children believe it's for real, or will they think this is just one more stop on their personal underground railroad tour through the foster care system? How can these children learn to trust when the system has screwed them over so thoroughly?
As angry and broken-hearted on the children's behalf as I am, I'm trying to keep at least a small portion of my brain open to the idea that there might possibly have been a valid reason for what my neighbors did, although it's hard to imagine just what that might possibly have been. Perhaps they might have learned that one or the other of them is facing a terminal illness and will not be able to provide the children with what they need. Perhaps they're divorcing, unbeknownst to the rest of us, in which case the court system probably wouldn't even have granted the adoption. Perhaps caring for the foster children was creating a rift in the couple's marriage. I could sit here and suppose all day, but I haven't a clue. My only suggestion is that if there is a good reason for what my neighbors have done to the children, even though it's not necessarily anyone's business, they would be wise to share it with their neighbors in order to minimize the animosity.
Sometimes life is unfair, and too often such is the case with society's most vulnerable people.