Here’s story number two in the series of pointing out real people and real life happenings with children of trauma and foster and adoption. This story is a little bit different, because the children in question were months away from the adoption being finalized, so technically, they were foster children. This story is also shared with permission, information has been altered to protect the innocent and underage.
Picture this: A beautiful summer day, sunny, warm – a perfect day for a trip to the beach. You’re a foster parent, with 4 kids under the age of six. In just a few months the two oldest children will be yours forever when their adoption is finalized. Your life is perfect. You and your spouse decide to take the kids to play in the sand, and you’re meeting up with another family, also foster parents, with their kids and two new foster kids they’ve taken in.
The first hour or so is great. But the the baby starts to show signs of reacting to the new sunscreen you’re using, so you leave with the baby to head to the nearest drugstore for Benadryl and to wash it off, leaving your other 3 children, aged 6, 4 and 2 in the capable adult hands of your partner and the other family. And that’s when the dream becomes a never ending nightmare.
When you return to the beach with the baby, your 6 and 4 yr old are being given CPR by strangers. Your spouse is frantic, holding the 2 yr old. Your children are taken to the hospital. There is no hope.
What happened? In a foot of water, how did 2 children who could swim drown like that?
Foster child of other family, aged 11, admitted to police he drowned them by holding their faces under water. Evidence backed up his story. He threatened their six year old that he’d drown her too if she told. He waited until the adults were distracted by the babies – and then murdered two younger children. Children he’d just met an hour before.
No charges were ever filed against this child. He was simply moved to another foster home and things were brushed under the rug by Child Services. The foster parents of the deceased children were blamed by CPS for the incident, although no police charges were ever filed against anybody. CPS needed a scapegoat, so they chose the foster/adopt parents, and revoked their license, end of story, punishment given, deal done. Does the next foster family know this child has already murdered twice? Do they have younger children in the home? Are there children in the neighborhood near him? Do THOSE parents know what this child has done? Is he receiving counseling, treatment? Chances are – the answer to every question is NO.
I’m not demonizing this child. He’s a victim. He was an innocent before he became what he had become. But he should never have been placed in a family with a baby and younger children. One just doesn’t go from “I don’t like you” to “Now I”m going to murder you and your brother” in the blink of an eye. This child has killed before. Basically in front of a crowd of witnesses, he boldly pushed those two little faces under water and held them down at the same time. It’s guaranteed there is a line of bodies starting with small animals in his past – of which that foster family was never made aware of – they had an infant, for crap’s sake! And pets! And a 6 yr old! It could just as easily have been their own children who died that day, or the next. Why? Because Child Services will not take responsibility for these kids that are violent, will not offer help to families, will hide the fact that some of these kids have some serious behaviors that need special treatment and special centers, NOT a family environment.
Am I trying to scare you into not becoming a foster or adoptive parent? If you have kids, yes! Because you will be entirely on your own, and chances are if something happened, you will be the scapegoat. These kids needs help, oh yes, and they deserve it. Is every foster kid like this? Oh heck no. I was a foster kid. So was my hubby. This is one of the extreme cases. But here’s the catch: you don’t know, if they aren’t going to tell you, support you, or listen to you when you have reservations about actions a child is doing, if you have “that” child or not. If they won’t help you get help for the child, then how do you know whether or not you have the one that can cause serious damage to others? If they won’t listen to you when you say you believe there’s something seriously wrong with the child, they have no empathy or remorse, and you need help or the child needs a more structured environment and not a family environment where they can hurt someone, and you get threatened with the removal of all your children, rather than help and testing and evaluation of that child? If they won’t step up to the plate…. are you willing to risk creating trauma in your own children? Are you willing to risk their lives? Eyes wide open… resources and knowledge… support system…. and you can make a huge difference in the lives of children. Become an advocate for open and responsible adoption and foster care, and providing services for those children and families. They deserve it, and much more.