I have written about them before. I met them three years ago when they were 2, 3, and 5 and living with their mother. Now they are 5, 6, and 8.
I met them before 3 year old J---was kidnapped by trusted adults and horrible things happened before the police found her in another state and brought her home. Before the sheriff presented the eviction notice and everything they owned was thrown on the front lawn and they stood on the porch with their mother, until the State Department of Children and Families stepped in. Before J ---went to one foster home and her two brothers to another. Before the boys were moved from one home to another, four different famlies, four different placements in all, and and for X--, four different schools, all in just two years.
I met them before their mother abandoned them and they would not see her again. Before their illegal immigrant father pleaded for custody despite his severe poverty. Before the boys lived with him and before J--- was afraid to visit him because she was afraid he might kidnap her and before he was arrested and just three weeks ago deported.
I met them before J---'s foster mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Before X--- ended up in a hospital program because when he couldn't sit still in school it became clear that like his sister, he had been abused too.
Before J---'s foster mother was told that she will be able to have permanent guardianship of J---until she is 18. Before the boys were last week permanently placed with the foster parent- grandmother they have been with for the last four months, who canceled her move to New York in order to keep them with her.
Before J--- started called her foster mother 'mommy' and before her foster mother could finally stop worrying about her being taken away. Before the cancer fell into remission.
Before the boys were welcomed into a loving family.
I am their therapist and I can tell you clearly that never in my wildest dreams did I expect these three children to prosper. I am required to document clinical words to describe their challenges: problems with abandonment, belongingness, attachment, abuse, neglect, post traumatic stress. I have come home some nights and railed that the world is so unfair that these three darling children would have no chance.
But that is not what is happening. They are now safe and loved. They belong somewhere.
J---told her 'mommy' that she doesn't need a ther-a-pist anymore. X finally can say that he hears voices in his head from when he was locked in a closet. Now that part of him can be helped. The littlest guy isn't sucking his thumb so desperately anymore.
Yes. Of course. There will be challenges and problems ahead. This level of trauma will certainly be triggered and our bodies don't forget. But I'm here to tell you that I work with some pretty hard facts and some very unfair circumstances.....and these three little kids are no longer among them.
Thank you universe. Thank you very very much.