This month we are highlighting Kinship Adoption and our story comes from Kelsey Dahlin, a Kinship Social Worker at Lilliput Families and a leader with the Regional Alliance. The following story is her personal experience serving a kinship family, whose name and photograph (due to privacy policies) will not be shared.
“In a professional capacity, I worked with a family that took placement of their maternal grandson at the age of 7 months and later of their 3 day old maternal granddaughter. Initially, due to mental health concerns and domestic violence between the biological parents, the 7 month old was placed in the care of CPS via the foster care system. Because being raised by relatives is often in the child’s best interest, when the maternal grandparents were contacted, they chose to foster their grandchildren while going through the kinship adoption process. Prior to the children moving into their home, the grandparents were “empty nesters”, living in a home they had bought with retirement in mind. However, when the children were placed in their home, both their home & lifestyle needed to be adjusted. During the 18 month period allowed for potential reunification and because of several untrue allegations, adjustment to the new situation for the kinship family was very challenging. The biological parents made many attempts (one nearly successful) to appeal the court’s decision. Yet through the turmoil, the kinship family remained steadfast in their love and adoration for their two grandchildren. The grandparents, with the support and presence of 30 friends and loved ones, finally experienced the fruit of their efforts. After two years in the foster care system, they adopted the children in December 2016. Both children are now doing exceptionally well. Towards the end of their involvement with CPS, the children’s youngest sibling (the third grandchild) was born, but was placed in the care of the father. The family maintains contact with the children’s father on a regular basis, allowing the three children to grow up knowing one another, although only two live under the same roof.
The grandparents’ willingness to sacrifice their plans for the benefit of their grandchildren is the main reason the children have both a bright future and family caregivers to guide them there. ”
*stock photo from: http://ow.ly/TLQU30g9XwE