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February 12, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For Feb. 13

(Continued)

We cannot begin to explain how challenging and emotional these past two years have been for our family. We took our new job as foster parents as serious as any job that either of us ever had. We tried to follow the recommendations of our instructors, but soon found that it was impossible not to get attached to these children, especially when you hear the stories that follow them. 

We could see the heartache of their past traumas, felt the tension of courtroom hearings, sat in therapy sessions listening and tried not to show our emotions, provided structure, gave hugs, comforted them when no one showed up for a visitation and felt it was our job to protect them. Because after working hard to earn the child’s trust, they expected for you to protect them. 

The last thing we ever wanted to do was let them down; they had enough of that. Frustrations certainly set in for us as well as other families who live with these children every day and see the importance of having somewhere stable, especially for those so young. Reunifying families is a top priority but a higher priority should be the children. That’s why guardian ad litems and court-appointed special advocates are so important (we need more). We have been told so many times over these past years, “I could never do what you do.” But our response was easy — if we didn’t, then who would? 

But like I said, today is a good day. Today two young little girls have been given a chance at a better life. They have been given an opportunity to not be exposed to unhealthy activity, unhealthy people that will no longer be responsible for their own safety. Today, they get to be little girls — play dress up in their own rooms, learn how to play tee-ball, run through a sprinkler as daddy waters the lawn, laugh hysterically and lay in bed at night and have sweet dreams. Yes, today is a good day for these children and for those of us that love them, and we owe it to their CASA and child services case worker, who always put the girls first. We’re lucky and we know it. They stood up for these girls and supported us. I’m also honored to say that these little girls are now our daughters. I’m their mommy and my husband is their daddy. Today is a good day.

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