Foster and Adopt program provides loving home for siblingsWritten by SAFE
Three years ago, Liam and Molly came into our foster program after witnessing domestic violence between their biological parents. This was the second time Liam was in care. Both children were placed with first time parents, the Smith’s, a week after they were verified. Throughout the many unexpected twists and turns in the case, the Smith’s remained committed to the best interest of the children. They supported efforts to reunify, even when visitation was greatly impacting the behavior of the children. While advocating for the children’s physical and emotional safety, they remained steady even when increased visits led to Liam being in a constant state of dysregulation.
The family remained positive and hopeful throughout many extensions in the case and showed resilience when the birth parents’ desperation and deflection resulted in unnecessary additional oversight of their home. The Smith’s maintained perfect compliance to standards and showed a deep understanding of the need for the children’s stability and permanency while still valuing birth family relationship. Despite the complications this relationship caused, the Smith’s established ways to safely share pictures and facilitate communication with the birth mother during the case.
The Smith’s demonstrated exceptional knowledge of and implementation of TBRI (trust based relational intervention) in their parenting and have met challenges with perseverance as well as flexibility. For many months following placement, Liam struggled with sleep, at times not sleeping more than a few hours a night. This impacted his ability to regulate emotions and manage behavior, and although their energy level and emotions were likewise affected, both parents continued to parent him with gentleness, fostering connection and felt safety while trying different strategies to resolve the issues.
The Smith’s rose to the occasion, accessing services and caring for the needs that came with the developmental delays of Liam, including delayed bathroom training. After going through the legal process, supporting the children, and supporting the relationship with their biological family, the court determined adoption was in the best interest of the children. The Smith family was able to adopt the children this month and Liam went to school informing his teacher he was now in a safe home. The family persevered through all the struggles, the heart ache, the disappointments, but remained positive the entirety of the case. And now they are officially a family, which SAFE helped create.
*Names were changed to protect identity.