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  1. #1

    Forced separation of siblings

    I have a two and a half year old whom my husband and I are adopting. She was drug/alcohol exposed and has been diagnosed with Asperger's disorder. We received her when she was a year old and at that time we were told that she had attachment disorder. She had been placed several times and she wouldn't let us touch her or hug her, she was abusive to our pets, and she was very aloof.

    When we received her, she came with her newborn full sibling brother. He was the first person she ever hugged and she watched over him like a mother hen. She loved him and he taught her to love. They shared a bedrom and they shared every waking minute of every day together. They became extremely bonded.

    In November of last year the judge terminated parental rights on the girl and we are now adopting her (I should add that they were both placed with us for adoption and we were told that neither would ~ever~ go back to the parents). This past August 29th the judge gave the baby one and a half year old brother back to the mom. We are now involved in a major battle to get him back, but it is highly unlikely that he will return.

    Our little girl is grieving. She looks for him everywhere and she demands that each member of the family takes her to go get him. We had a bonding study done and so she saw him there and we've had one visit since then. She and I will be visiting with him this morning, and again in two weeks. The trial will be the next week. I find that she gets much more upset after seeing him. She has to be just going nuts trying to figure all this out and we can't explain it to her because we don't understand it ourselves. We would never have taken part in something like this if we'd have known where it would lead.

    I don't know what to say to her when she asks a zillion times a day when he's coming home. I tell her he's gone to his new home and she just asks to go "home" and get him. She misses him terribly. It's really heartbreaking. The court cannot even acknowledge her and she is no part of the equation for her brother's trial. I also worry so for him as when we see him he looks so sad and confused. I understand through other sources that he is doing "well" at his mother's house and I don't understand that either. He and I were joined at the hip. Does the mother-child relationship really mean so little that he could be with me all his life and not react at all when removed? He used to go through untold stress and anxiety when they came and took him for visits with his parents, yet he has no reaction to losing us forever?

    Please tell me how to help this aching little girl. Thank you so much for your time.

  2. #2

    Forced separation of siblings

    What a tragedy... I can only imagine what a heartbreak this is for everyone involved.

    Regardless of what happens at the court hearing, I would strongly advise you to have the little girl seen by a child psychologist -- she is going to need help to process all this. You and your husband may benefit from seeing somebody as well.

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