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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

In A File

I imagine it was the feeling a Mother gets when they hand your baby to you immediately after giving birth. When Caseworker #3 handed me the six photos I instantly felt love and began crying. There in the picture was the baby face of my Stella. My one year old Stella with a bowl haircut and her classic smirk.

Behind it was a six month old Sarah. She had her angry face on. She was clearly not pleased to be doing whatever it was that moment captured.

The evidence labels, yellowed, are on the back. The photos were hole punched to affix them to the file folder. By some miracle, the eight year old photos were still attached and Caseworker #3 brought them for us to keep.

Then the tears turned to sadness that the only baby photo my kids have is from a file documenting their abuse. That 8 years later, the file is still their source of history. I known these photos are more than most kids in foster care get so I'm not complaining but I'm outraged for all kids in this situation.

What an amazing gift we were given tonight.

2 comments:

  1. We are required (very required) to purchase school pictures for all of our kids in Care. If we don't do that, we are required (very required) to take our kids and get studio pictures taken somewhere.

    Here's the part that just kills me though...

    I asked my agency what happens to these pictures. She literally told me, "nothing".

    So no one makes sure that these kids get pictures of themselves. And when the kids leave our agency, nothing happens to their file. I can guarantee that even if the kid stayed in Care for 8 years, no one would do anything with their old files.

    And as far as "life books" go, all my agency ever does is ask, "Have you started a life book?" NO ONE has ever made sure that when kids left my home that they took any sort of record of their time with me with them.

    It upsets me how these little details get missed so often. I'm glad you got a couple small tokens of their early childhood. And it's horrible that these kids have waited so long for permanency!

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    1. My experience is that often the bios involved in these situations don't have a ton of pictures either. Due to inconsistent housing or limited finances there isn't much.

      We aren't required but I did buy school pictures and studio pictures for all of my kids. When the Fab Four went home I sent some and kept others on the chance that they will get lost and I know I will still have them. During the move I actually had a box of just their stuff for safe keeping.

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