This continues the story of our journey to have a family. The time frame for this chapter of our story is September 2008.
If you continue to read along, you will see first hand the reality of how broken the Foster Care system truly is.
We had finally reached a point where thing were on track for all five adoptions to go through. After almost a year of postponed court hearings, our first two children were free for adoption. The biological mother’s rights had been terminated in the final court hearing, but we had a mandatory 90-day waiting period before we could actually consummate the adoptions. Our other two older children were free for adoption, as their biological parents’ rights had been terminated before they ever came to us, but we had not completed the 6-month waiting period of them being in our home that is required for us to consummate their adoption. The baby was not free for adoption at this point, but we had a court date and knew that nothing had changed on the case. It was just a matter of waiting out the time until the court date.
One afternoon I received a call from our agency telling me that they wanted to start working on the adoption paperwork. I told them that we were going to wait and adopt all five children at one time. She told me that this would not be possible if we wanted to adopt the older children. I asked her why, because we had already spoken with all of the CPS case workers, they knew our situation and various reasons why we wanted to adopt all five at one time, and no one had a problem with this arrangement. She told me that she would call me back.
It wasn’t but a few minutes later that I got a call from the Director of the Agency. She told me that the CPS case workers had told them we said we did not want to adopt the older children if we were not able to adopt the baby, and we would not make a decision until after the baby’s court case was final. She told me that CPS was actually getting ready to remove the older children from our home if we did not go ahead with the adoption right now. I asked her who had told her this but she refused to tell me. I told her I would call her back, and I ended the conversation.
I went into panic mode. Anger rose up in me and I came out fighting like a Mama bear protecting her cubs! I immediately started calling my CPS case workers. I had three separate case workers, since we had two different sets of children, and the baby. None of the three case corkers could believe what I was telling them! They were livid! They had never said anything about removing the children, and in fact, all of them knew we were on schedule according to what our original plan had been.
After making phone calls to several officials within CPS, we were able to figure out that the motivation behind all of the threats was because of money. From what we were told, our understanding is that the agency receives $10,000 for every child who is adopted through their agency! I do not have the actual proof of this, but this is what I was told by the CPS officials who were so very gracious and kind when I called them so panicked and furious. When I told her about the threats from the agency that the children were going to be removed from our home, she became furious! She assured me that the children could not be removed from our home unless CPS was there to remove them. Even if the agency were to remove the children, the CPS representative must be present. Otherwise, any removal is illegal. She reiterated to me that CPS is the only ones who can remove the children, and they were NOT going to remove them from us.
Once I heard this, I knew it was time for us to leave the agency. Their purpose was to be there as our representatives and look out for our interests. Yet we actually had to fight against them, and CPS was looking out for our interest far more than the agency was. So we started the paperwork IMMEDIATELY to go straight through CPS instead of the agency.
It is our understanding that the Agency was hurting for money just to be able to meet their budget needs, and they knew if we finalized the adoptions on the older four children they would have $40,000 in their bank account before the end of the year. They knew our waiting period would be up on all four of the older children and we could legally adopt all four of them in December.
We knew that the baby’s court date was in January, and then we would have to wait the 90-days before we could actually consummate his adoption. With all the waiting we had gone through by this point through the system, what were another few months?
There were many different reasons we wanted to adopt all five children at one time. We wanted to have a big celebration, my parents wanted to come in, so coordinating for more than one event like that from out of town was going to be a challenge. CPS had no problem with this arrangement from the very beginning. They all knew our plan and understood why we wanted to do things the way we had planned. We had thought long and hard about all of this. We also wanted to try to prevent as much rivalry as possible. With these children who have been rejected and passed from one home to another so many times, feeling a sense of belonging is important. If one set of children were adopted and the others were not, this had the potential to create a lot of added turmoil and stress for the children.
In the end the agency lost a total of $50,000 from us, because they tried to bully the wrong person. Do not lie to me! More importantly, DO NOT threaten to take my children from me when you know you cannot, because I will fight back! I am sure they had no idea what hit them when they received our notice saying that we were terminating our business relationship with them. They picked a fight with the wrong person! These are my kids they were messing with! They learned the hard way that I will fight anyone, anywhere, at anytime for what is in their best interest.
I cannot begin to tell you how angry it makes me to know that the children caught in this system are nothing more than a commodity to so many people! $10,000 per child! This money would be better spent by overhauling the ENTIRE system! There are so many things that need to change in this system to help these children!
The Purpose Of This Series: Who Hears The Voice Of The Children?
The next chapter in this series: The Baby Is Ours!
The previous chapter in this series: Little Boy Lost!