Thursday, October 22, 2015

Our Family in the News

There were two stories that were published and aired today.

The first was an article about Brittney and her amazing Guardian-ad-litem (GAL) who helped push for her to come home! The article, by Nancy Kinnally with the FL Bar Foundation, is well-written and sheds light on the deeper pieces of her story and eventually finding a forever family:
"Brittney, 11, smiles broadly and extends her hand in greeting to welcome a visitor to her family’s Tallahassee farm, where she and her six siblings help care for a menagerie that includes dogs, cats, ponies, goats, chickens, rabbits, a donkey and a cow named Buttercream.

Born prematurely and with a panoply of medical disorders that could shorten her lifespan, Brittney spent years in and out of Orlando hospitals and medical foster homes until Brian and Shannon got a phone call from a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter asking if they would consider adopting her. 
“We told her, ‘Yes, we would absolutely be interested in taking this little girl,’ because we believe that all life is valuable and that all children deserve a loving family, whether they are going to pass away, whether they have special needs, no matter what the issues are,” Shannon said. “We made a commitment to God a long time ago that if we were ever called to take a child we would consider that a call from Him.”.....

Here is the link to read the entire article:
A long legal road leads to a permanent home for Brittney

The second was a 4 minute news segment, that aired on France2 TV. They inquired with us about their interest in covering a segment on American adoption disruptions since disrupting an adoption is not allowed in France. They traveled to us in FL from Washington D.C. to spend the afternoon filming our lives and interviewing Sam on his experience being adopted twice. We can't express what a sweet crew they were to work with, so natural and patient. 
"One of the more charming segments I've produced at France 2 Washington DC in a while. This one tells the story of Sam, a child from China who was adopted but then given up by his adoptive parents. Thank god he wasn't sent back to the orphanage in China, but taken in by Brian and Shannon in Florida, the 5 Kids 6 Months family. What you see here is love for children by other families who believe in third chances." - Sabrina Buckwalter, producer at France2
Here is link to watch the video news story:
États-Unis : des petites annonces pour réadopter un enfant déjà adopté une première fois

Since it is in French, it was made for France2 TV after all, below is the English translation of the video:
"The little boy is only 10 years old and yet he already has a past saddled with pain and separation.
A birthmark deforms his face but that is a mere detail in comparison to all the suffering he's been through.

Sam has been through an orphanage in China and 2 adoptive families in the US.
18 months ago, his first adoptive parents decided to cede him to another couple. 

Sam precisely recalls the shock he felt at the time:
SOT (Sam, readopted child): "2 days before I was taken they announced it to me, that I was going to have a new house, a new home.

SOT (Valerie Astruc, Reporter) - How did you react?

SOT (Sam, readopted child) - I was scared. They did not think that I was a nice child, but I still was attached to them."

With his new parents, Sam often watches the home videos his previous family had left for him.
Images of apparent bliss, but the child had reactive attachments disorders at that times.
His first adoptive parents therefore decided to give Sam to another family.

SOT (Shannon, Sam's 2nd adoptive mother): "It wasn't that they were neglectful by any means. But it was Sam's behavior, he behaved himself in a way that created a rift, there was a bond that was very hindered."

The little boy has had to learn live with his new brothers and sisters, 6 in total, all adopted by Brian and Shannon, a devout couple who did in the name of Jesus.

Sam's first months in his new family were very testing:
SOT (Sam) : "When I first arrived, I'd get very angry. When I wouldn't get what I wouldn't get my way, I would shut down, and wouldn't talk.

SOT (Shannon, Sam's 2nd adoptive mother) : - Yeah. Sometimes it'd be for hours, yeah. And then we in the family would start thinking, 'Well, what did we do, why are you so mad at us?'. But we understood that he had lost a lot."

Adopted children that change parents, there exists hundreds in the United States. No specific number can be posited as the phenomenon is fairly recent.

SOT (Valerie Astruc, Reporter) : "No federal law prohibits the transfer of an adopted children into a new family. A handful of states require that they go before a tribunal but in the majority of cases, the procedure is rather simple."

On the internet, specialized agencies publish little blurbs drafted by adoptive parents that wish to separate themselves from their adoptive children. Beneath Landon's picture, 8 years old, this is what it reads:
"The arrival of this hyperactive child is not what we expected."

Another face, another story, and another comment:
"Abby needs a house with parents that are calm and patient to help her."

All these posts are perfectly legal and regulated.
This lawyer explains that a home study and backgrounds checks suffices to carry out the transfer of a child between 2 adoptive families, with no intervention from public authorities.

SOT (Christine Thurman, Lawyer specialized in Family Affairs) : "What we're seeing is a trend for 2nd chance families. Apparently they'll want to take on someone with a level of confidentiality, they do not want people to know that there is a new child. After the first child [in the case of a first adoption] there's often a lot of celebration, and then the child just disappears."

Once a child has changed homes, an agency that has been certified by social services comes to make sure that everything is in order.

This couple has re-adopted this 8 year old girl.
Marian is the one who had linked the 2 families up, took care of the transfer procedures and now routinely makes sure the child is doing ok.

SOT (Marian Huet, Director, Love & Hope, Adoptive Services) : "It's very safe."
This disruption from adoption practice remains fairly marginal . And apparently nobody seems to blame families for going back on their decision to adopt a given child.

SOT (Vanessa Smith, 2nd adoptive mother) : "They get a child who is really "damaged" or "hurt", often from abroad and they don't know much about the child or the environment he grew up in."

SOT (Marian Huet, Director, Love & Hope, Adoptive Services) : "It's better to have a re-adoption than staying in a home where it is not working. It's like being in a very bad marriage where people stay together for the wrong reasons."

In the US, the number of readoptions is not limited. In other words, a child can change adoptive families several times, before he reaches the age of 18."

Posted by Shannon

1 comment:

  1. she has several times now) to visit her son and his adoptive parents. And she was celebrating her first Mother's Day with the mother she had chosen for her son. They are like family now. I can't think of a more beautiful picture of open adoption. learn more