Adoption Disruption leaves family heartbroken and in tears
Have you ever lost something? A favorite toy, a blanket, a ring, a tool or perhaps your pet? How did you feel? Upset, sad, maybe depressed? Imagine how you would feel if your children were ripped away from you while they were at school. No final kiss, no final hug, no final I love you… NOTHING!!! All you are given is a phone call stating that a group of people (some who have never met or spoken with you or the children) made the decision that your children are better off without you and there is nothing you can do to get them back. Imagine, how you would feel? Complete devastation and despair, scared, like pieces of your life are missing, almost like your heart has been ripped from your chest. These are all the things and more that have happened to our family and this is our story.
In May of 2016, we received a phone call from our foster agency about a pre-placement visit with two girls, twins, 6 years old and one is partially Deaf. That was the only information that we received and even though it was very limited information, we still chose to open our lives to them. The girls were currently in kinship but due to a family emergency the family was not able to keep the girls. One request that was made by the family was that the home the girls go to was one that would become their forever family. On the day of our pre-placement visit two beautiful young ladies arrived at our home, obviously very scared and unsure of what was happening in their lives. We welcomed them into our home, our biological children made them feel welcomed, the dogs showered them with kisses and we went to a charity event that day as a family of seven! By the end of the day both of the girls were laughing and asking when they could come live with us. After that day, we immediately said YES to our foster agency when they asked if we would like the girls as foster children. The girls were placed with us June of 2016 just two days before their 7th birthday. Over the coming months, our family grew closer and closer and instead of “the girls” they became OUR girls and they now had brothers and another sister. We knew the goal was reunification but in our hearts we knew that one day OUR girls would officially be Snowden’s. In September of 2016 we began a major renovation project to our home in order to better accommodate our growing family.
Our Love Deepens and the Goals Change
During the time the girls have been with our family we have formed a very close relationship with their father. He is a loving and devoted father who wanted to give his girls the world but was not able to do so. Our first interaction was not positive because we were the enemy the people who had his girls but after a very short amount of time that all changed. He knew that his girls were safe, cared for and most importantly; loved and part of a special family. He knew that he would have a difficult time getting his girls back and he wanted to ensure that his girls were always a part of our family so he asked us to adopt them. If it would have been that simple our story would have had a happy ending months ago.
In June of 2017, termination of parental rights occurred and we became the Pre Adoptive Parents! The end was insight; our dream of adopting our girls was within reach and they could legally use the last name of Snowden which they had already been using for months. We were on pace for an adoption in November 2017.
Heartbreak and Disruption
Sadly, things did not go as planned over the next few months and we are still trying to understand how and why. Paperwork took longer than we were told it would and our motives started to be questioned with every statement and action we made. We fought for what we believed was right for OUR girls. Without going into details; the adoption date was suspended after an interrogation was conducted. After the interrogation we began to learn of the lies and twisted words that were being said of us. We began to question our desire to proceed with the adoption. Were we meant to be their forever family, is this where God was leading us or was this a test of our faith? We prayed about it and knew that we needed to continue to fight for OUR girls as they are meant to be a part of our family.
We continued to persevere through this always doing what we felt was right for OUR girls. We continued to run into troubles and road bumps and then came that terrible day which has been burned into our hearts and souls.
The day that tore our hearts out
Exactly 19 months after OUR girls became part of our family they were ripped away from us. The day began like all school days do; waking up OUR girls, getting dressed, having breakfast, doing their hair, and off to school. Little did we know that would be the last time we saw OUR girls. Approximately four hours after OUR girls left for school our lives where disrupted by the worst phone call a Pre-Adoptive family could ever receive. We received word that our foster agency was coming to our house in less than two hours to collect several days worth of clothing and personal items for OUR girls. The decision had been made that OUR girls where being removed from their family and school through an emergency court order. Immediately we questioned how we appeal this decision and asked what grounds they were being removed on. We were not given much information but we were told once again to have their belongings ready. After that phone call it seemed like we could not breath as our world had stopped. How could this be happening and WHY? What could we do? When the foster agency came to retrieve OUR girls belongings we were told that we had no grounds to appeal because it was an emergency removal and we could direct our questions to the County.
Have you ever had to tell your kids about a tragedy in your family? We did. It caused complete devastation and despair, we are scared, and we feel like pieces of your lives are missing. Why is this happening and how do we fight to get OUR girls back?
We are in need of YOUR help. We need your help in getting others to read our story and to share our story with the world. We also need your help financially as the only recourse we have is to hire an attorney to fight for OUR girls. We know this is going to be a battle and a fight for all our lives, but by the grace of GOD OUR girls will be with our family soon.
We want to fight, we need to fight, and we will fight as long as we can but we need your help to bring OUR girls home. The money raised will help pay for all of the legal fees we are about to incur during this process. If we end up raising more money than we need, we will pay your kindness forward to others in the same situation as we find ourselves.
Thank you for kindness. Please pray for our family and OUR girls as they are seperated from us and PLEASE share this with your family, friends, church, and co-workers. Thank you again for your time and generosity.