A Story of a Broken Family
by Anamarie Lynn Loeh on Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 8:12pm ∑
My story goes back about a year. My mom lived in California with my step-dad and half-siblings. My mom struggled with depression and bipolar disease. Because of this she tried just about anything to relieve herself from the effects of the illnesses, including the occasional use of drugs. She and my step-dad never really had a stable home, but they loved their children dearly. My mom, at one point, knew she needed help and checked herself into a hospital; she even stayed some extra days when asked. She was ready to go home to her children, but within 24 hours of her coming home, Child Protective Services came and took my brother and sister. This all happened in February 2011 and four months later my mom called home for help. It was the third time the kids were removed; therefore my momís rights were to be terminated. Neither my grandma nor my grandpa could adopt them, but my aunt would try. The day after my mom called, she took her own life.
The law in both Wisconsin and California (the Child Welfare Services Program, title IV-B of the Social Security Act legislation) states that when a child enters the child protective system a family must be searched for. However, the third time my siblings were taken, CPS of California knew of my grandma, still no one in our family was informed. They simply placed the kids with a foster family, intended for adoption. My aunt got an attorney and petitioned countless times to gain guardianship of my siblings. Yet the case keeps dragging on. Because of this, the foster family is gaining a bond with the children which we canít have. On February 22-24, 2012 my aunt and I flew out to California to be at the court hearing on the 23rd. This hearing was intended to terminate my step-dadís rights and determine guardianship of the kids. Though nothing happened at the hearing, Tiffany, the adoption specialist; Susan, our attorney; my aunt, and I had a conference before hand. During the hearing, Tiffany had told us that she recommended the foster family over us because of the bond. However, we couldnít gain a bond until they are placed in Wisconsin. Also, rudely Tiffany told us that the kids donít want to talk to us. Yes, I agree that a six and an eight-year-old donít want to talk on the phone; but if the court ordered it, it should be done. I often times, when recalling these events, question her validity and professionalism in her career and cases.
I just want the opportunity to meet and create a relationship with my brother and sister. I cannot do this with them in California with brief distracted phone calls. I believe that family is the best place for them to grow up with. We can support and help each other through hard times, including the continuous grief of losing OUR mother. There are many ways you could help. These ongoing court dates are creating more bills that we donít have the money to pay for. A simple way is placing a call, voicing your opinion if you agree family is the best option. Another is to investigate, make sure everything is fair and legal; also, to ensure that theyíre working in the best interest of the kids, not themselves, or the foster parents. Please help me and my aunt to gain placement and guardianship of my siblings by funding, placing calls, and/or investigating this case. If you let these children go home to Wisconsin, this would free up a foster home for other children!