Time marched on...we did have a few short term foster placements but for a number of years we just kept working on, trying to get somewhere with Paul and Ben's cases. Unfortunately, it was not going very well and foster parents have absolutely no say in the matter. Ben had weekly visits with his birth father...who was also developmentally delayed.....after Ben came to live with us full time , his birth father set up housekeeping in a motel...one of those kind where people live there by the month....or the hour. His father really didn't know what he was doing and poor little Ben suffered. When he would come back from weekend visits he would just sit at the dinner table and cry...he was so hungry but also so very tired that he didn't know what he wanted to do more...eat or sleep. I complained to the worker but there was little they could do. It really started to bother me to have to drive him to this motel and leave him there. I finally said the worker that I could no longer do it. When she asked why, ....I told her. At this time I knew that this worker had three kids of her own and her youngest named Judith was about the same age as Ben. I told her about the conditions of the hotel room, the condition that Ben was in when he came home, how sometimes the father would give him bad food and Ben's digestive system would suffer for days afterwards. I just said to her...'Bonita, you couldn't take Judith there and leave her, and I can no longer do this.'
So, a volunteer driver started taking him and picking him up. Then Ben started coming home with an unusual rash in his genital area. It only happened at a visit and after he was home a couple of days it would go away. He also started showing sexually suggestive behaviour towards Maya....obviously mimicking behaviour he had either observed or watched on television while with the father. When it started to escalate and even though I had reported it to the worker each time , they did nothing. Don and I finally set up a meeting with all workers involved....there's always a lot of workers for every case. We told them that this had to stop or they'd have to find a new home for Ben....we really didn't want this to happen. We loved Ben and didn't want him to go but we had to think of Maya too. What we were trying to do was force them to do something about this deplorable situation. It was taken to the courts and it was decided that Ben could only be involved in supervised visits with the birth father. That meant that Ben wouldn't have to go to the hotel room and the visits would have to take place at the agency under the watchful eye if a worker.
The father was furious......he did attend visits for about a year but then the visits started to decline....more and more , the father just didn't show up......
We didn't hear anything more from the birth father until Ben was a teenager and at that time the birth father said he was going to get Ben back. Everyone was put on high alert and the school was notified not to give out any information on Ben or allow him to leave the school with anybody except Don and I. The birth father went to court but it was quickly thrown out.....he had pulled himself out of Ben's life years previously and they were not going to hand him over now.
The birth mother didn't see the boys very often either, before she moved from the area , she had become pregnant again and while living in a city a few hours away, gave birth to another little boy. She also went on to have two more girls in the following years. The boy she called Daniel and after a year of visits she did the same that she did with Maya.....announced after the visit one day that they were done. She didn't want to be part of his life anymore. He was given up for adoption and to this day we really don't where he is. Then she gave birth to two girls a couple of years apart. Unfortunately, the first girl , whom she named Tamara, was born with a very serious heart condition.....Transposition of the Great Arteries. Since this little babe required three surgeries in her first year, the first being when she was was a couple of days old, the CAS in that city apprehended her and she was in care for her first year. It was when that year was nearly up that the birth father, of this girl, petitioned the court, and even though he himself had some delays....the court decided that he should have the opportunity to parent. So she was placed back in their care. Less than a year later, the birth mom had the other girl, whom she called Kaitlyn.
After that, after having six children the birth mother did not have any more.
The girls were apprehended by the agency when Tamara was six and Kaitlyn was four. The agency was called because authorities had found the younger child crossing a busy highway, on her own while leading her older sister. An investigation was made and the girls came into care.
It was too late though, and much damage had been done.
Back at our house, we started having thoughts of adopting again....oh no ...really? Yes..but this time was different, this time we actually went looking, instead of the agency bringing the child to us first!
I told you we were crazy!