To Hug a Porcupine

Three little boys set out to destroy the parents who loved them. This isn't how adoption is supposed to work.

"When we left there," Jorge says, "we got a lawyer."


Here's a taste of what was in those boxes — information that Debbie and Jorge would see only years later.

According to one document, the boys' biological mother, Mary, told DCF workers she'd been raped by at least six people over the course of her life — including four family members. But it was an encounter with a man at a California truck-driving school that produced her beautiful dark-haired son Brian. Then again, documents also showed she was a liar.

Mary fell for a troubled 27-year-old divorcé and had two more babies in two more states. The family was living in a car in Georgia when child protective services there got on their case. They gave authorities the slip by crossing the state line into Florida.

According to a time line in the boys' file, the family did not stay undetected for long. The children were taken into state custody in Palm Beach County on November 8, 1994, when "Brian's arm was broken by a parent in a fit of rage." He was two years and nine months old at the time. The baby, James, was only a month. Examinations showed signs of physical and sexual abuse.

The time line shows that, in keeping with standard procedures, the boys were placed together in a foster home of a woman named Alix Holley while Mary was allowed supervised visits in hopes of reunification.

Some excerpts:

2/27/95: "No visits until parents are clear of scabies."

3/29/95: "Brian's teeth all rotten."

4/27/95: "Saw all three children. Impetigo and ringworm cleared up."

4/28/95: The foster mother reported "aggressive/physical behaviors, head banging, self-inflicted, will hurt animals."

8/29/95: Foster mother reports "behaviors real bad. Giving oral sex to each other."

10/26/95: During a visit, "Brian said to [biological] mom, 'Don't hurt me.' "

Ongoing entries describe Holley's growing suspicions that the boys were being abused in the care of their mother. When the court approved continuing visits despite her objections, Holley would cancel or dawdle in bringing the boys to appointments. On February 23, 1996, Holley seemed "extremely concerned about continuing the visits." She threatened to sue the department.

Although correspondence that was later released would show that other workers shared her concerns, Holley was deemed a nuisance for interfering. "She thrives on this type of controversy that makes her feel important," a caseworker wrote in a memo. The boys were soon shuffled again.

Plans for reunification with Mary were scrapped on June 2, 1997, when, according to notes, "James was the victim of physical abuse when the mother intentionally bit him at the therapist's office." Mary was arrested and agreed to terminate her parental rights. She planned to move back to Georgia. She was five months pregnant at the time.

Documents in the boys' file would show that Brian was separated from his brothers, who landed in an immaculate, three-bedroom, one-bath house in Greenacres. Nancy Garcia and her husband took in $2,035 a month between his job at Publix and their Social Security checks. They got some extra income caring for 12 foster kids that year, sometimes five at a clip.

An abuse report details the time that a DCF worker went to check on the home after the boys complained about being kept in a chicken coop. A therapist confirmed the presence of such a structure in the yard, but when asked about it, Nancy Garcia said she only threatened to put the boys in a cage after they refused to go to bed. In a separate incident, the Garcias admitted to putting tape on Matthew's mouth "as a reminder to stop talking." The couple sometimes warned the children by rolling up a newspaper and smacking it against a hand. The toddlers were troublemakers, Nancy Garcia reported. "You can't spank them; what else am I supposed to do?"

According to the paperwork, a district staffing specialist forwarded concerns about the Garcias' "inappropriate discipline techniques" to the relicensing unit, who in turn referred its concerns to a home educator. But the home educator had left her job, so the case was closed. The Garcia home was later described as "above satisfactory" and relicensed.

But the troublesome boys were clearly not wanted, so workers sought a new placement.

Hector Rosa and his wife had room for three kids.


In 2002, Debbie and Jorge filed a lawsuit against DCF based on "negligence" and "wrongful adoption." During the years that it moved along at a glacial pace, however, something curious happened to the boys. They grew.

Matthew, the middle child, was about 8 when he sidled up to Debbie. "He said, 'Mommy come here,' " she remembers. He told her he had been lifting weights. "Guess how much I weigh now," he whispered. "'I'm getting bigger, and I'm getting stronger, and I will kill you. When the knife goes in, you'll know it."

Debbie tried to hide her panic. She'd learned that attachment disordered kids often took out their hostility on the person closest to them. Any loving gesture repulsed them. They were especially mean to women, and their favorite target was mom.

"It's like a porcupine," therapist Lori Angulo would later explain in a deposition. When a person gets emotionally close, "they act out. They can pull you in for a little bit, and you think you're getting closer. And then if they become vulnerable at all, they will sabotage that."

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25 comments
ricky5456
ricky5456

What the fuck.. So hugging a porcupine first of all is not a very bright idea. Retards.. so these parents Jorge (probably some viking idk who knows) and Debbie (Wendy's conglomeration possibly? probably or just a super fat bitch). First of all kids are never bad. Parents are bad. Here we see a Viking who is married to a fast food restaurant chain or some shit (or fat lady who can't do shit). Here you see they adopted innocent kids, but they we're obviously not good enough parents and don't know how to take care of children (what were they doing hugging porcupines? There was nothing on this articles about porcupines [fucking retards]). I bet this odd couple goes to greece or something and eats greece salad while putting their kids on invisible chains and shit. These three kids seem like the coolest and chillest people alive and i bet they're doing so well right now if they're out of their parents house. I bet they're fit as fuck since they probably don't live in a fast food chain anymore. Who the fuck calls their daughter Debbie anyway. Sounds like this Jorge was too pussy whipped or something. I bet she's ugly as fuck.

Koltwheeler
Koltwheeler

timD  Debbie and Jorge were told by DCF that they would be charged with "felony child abandonment" if they tried to give the boys back... as were many other adoptive parents at the time.  An article and single quote does not tell the entire story.

timD
timD

(Regarding the option of "giving the brothers back")"Give them back to who?" Debbie barks. "To the people who abused them? To the system that failed to keep them safe over and over and over again?"Yes, those people. Or maybe maybe drop these monsters off at a Siberian gulag? a deserted island? a meat grinder?Honestly, Debbie and Jorge are pathetic individuals. I aplaud their noble efforts to save these children, but once they start plotting to kill you, it's time to cut the cord. And don't forget their other son, David, who surely suffered massive psychological trauma from being exposed to these animals.

RG
RG

What seems clear is that while the DCF system failed these children miserably, Debbie and Jorge, with their unflagging empathy and love, were these childrens' only hope. I have two small children myself, and although they are wonderful and loving and sweet, even so I have days I would "give them back" if I could. How this couple could have continued to love and support these boys, after all they went through and without love and gratitude in return, is beyond me. Debbie and Jorge, you are bigger and better people than I and I think you deserve a medal for all that you have done. Just emotionally, not even taking into account all the money, time, lawyers, and bureaucracy that must have eaten up your life.

You must also take care for yourselves. You cannot spend your lives trying to save these boys, if they cannot be saved from themselves. At some point, and only you know when this is, you must say, we have done all we can, and now we must retreat from this responsibility and take care of ourselves and our other son. YOu have done more than any of us, you shouldn't have to spend the rest of your lives carrying this burden.

Yolanda, my heart goes out to you. Try to let go of your guilt, we all do the best we can, when we can. It was brave and right of you to turn Hector in, and help make sure he could never hurt another child again. Now enjoy your family and let the pain go...

Again, Debbie and Jorge, you have my empathy and admiration. Hang in there. At least you tried to make a difference in these boys lives, which is more than most of us do.

Yolanda
Yolanda

I knew the Florida Department of Children and Families very well. The department was not honest with this family and I am ashamed to say, I had knowledge of it. How did i know, well, I am Yolanda, the last foster mother the boys had before being placed with Jorge and Debbie.

Amy Z. was the children's DCF worker and she did fully disclose the boys past with us. But when they found adoptive parents willing to take them, we were asked not to disclose the information we had because if would be a breach in confidentiality. We were told that information would be given to them in a timely manner. Yes, we did have some problems with the boys (mainly with Brian) when they first came to us, and over time, the problems did become worse. I did not understand what was going on as the behaviors worsened because when the boys came to live with us, Matthew and Jamie were sweet little boys, and Brian was their guardian sort of their protector. But as time went by and things started to change, I would question myself and his therapist as to why is the behavior getting worse rather than better. But we just could not pin point the problem and I just believed that their problems came from their previous foster placements and biological home.

When the day came that the boys were going to move in with their new parents, I was happy for them because knowing the boys past and hearing what great people Debbie and Jorge were, I just knew the boys would find their happily ever after. My ex-husband how ever made a comment that was strange to me at the time but it never hit me. He said there goes my toys. I just looked at him wierd and he explained that he was active outdoors with them, so I never thought about it again. I spent most of my time at work. I held 2 jobs in order to provide for the family while my ex-husbands job gave him the flexibility to stay home with the children. It was not till after I had my ex-husband arrested for molesting a young girl placed in my home did I find out that he was rearrested for aggrevated sexual assualt on these three little boys. I could not believe that I was married to a monster. I was horrified. As a survivor of sexual abuse I could have sworn that I would know the signs. Just like I noticed a change in behavior in the little girl weeks before I discovered what my ex was doing, I noticed the behaviors in the boys changing weeks before they moved out. When I caught him molesting that little girl in my home a couple of weeks before Christmas in 1998,I thought back to the changes in behavior and hated myself becuase I could not put the two together. I would have never thought the the man I trusted with myself, my own children and my foster children would ever do such a thing.

After his arrest, I turned to DCF for help as well because knowing that he had done such a terrible life changing thing had affected me, my kids and possibly all the kids placed with us in such a way that I new my family needed counseling. It was not until after his arrest did my own children start to reveal physical abuse. But DCF said the only way they can help me or my children was if my children were a ward of the state. After hearing what happened to most of the kids placed with us and then knowing what happened in my own to some of those children, there was no way I was going to let that happen. I live with the guilt that I was not able to protect the children that were placed in my home every day of my life. I have never married again because I could not trust another man to come into my home and harm any one of my children again. Now that my children are adults, I still cannot and will not trust a man because of fear that he will hurt my grandchildren. I had to turn down my niece to care for here children because I was afraid I could not keep them from harm.

I have often wondered about the little girl and the 3 boys he molested and wondered how they are doing today. I have often prayed that God help them with this terrible sin this monster has committed against them. I know that Jorge and Debbie have written another article in 2002 explaining the horrific details of what they were going through as a result of the crimes committed against those boys. Back then, I could not stop my self from crying and wishing if I had only known, I could have done something to prevent it. Today, my adult children came across this article and were afraid to tell me about it because they know how I have blammed myself over the years for failing to protect these children. I thought I had coped with it, but after reading this article, the memories came back and the damage that has been done to these kids still haunt me. I am so sorry to Debbie and Jorge for all of it. I wish I had disclosed to you what I did know. Maybe I could have prevented some of your pain. I am so sorry that my ex turned out to be one of the monsters that hurt those little boys. I am sorry that his actions has turned those little boys to what they are today. You certainly do not deserve all that has happened to you, you opened up your hearts, your love and your home to provide them with something that they never had. I pray that some how some way God will help the boys finally find peace and closure and that God will bless you with the family you always dreamed of having with those boys. I am truely sorry.

izzie wigelsworth
izzie wigelsworth

I am wondering why these boys could not be charged with crimes and incarcerated for the various things they have done....wouldnt the chicken blood incident be attempted murder ...isnt there soem assault charges or animal cruelty in there somewhere.I is frighten to think that these young men havent been charged with anything.I feel bad fo rthem...the system is horrid and they were victims over and over again but does that give them lisence to terrorize innocent people and carry on this insame legacy their birth mother left them....will they be allowed to kill this couple or their other son(I REALLY feel bad for him!!!) just because of the sins committed against them!?!?!?

MARIA
MARIA

those kids human they've had a real bad past, the parents that adopted them saved them from my step father, he was a cruel man that deserves what he gets. My mother was always wondering why they were acting out so much. It wasn't cause they were bad back then they didn't no how to tell my mother what was going on and nether did we when we saw him we always yelling at them for no reason. He had a way of strickin fear into us to make us obey. my mother never new cause she wasnt home she had to work to take care of us and me and my brothers were too scared to admit anything. We never new about sexual abuse but we new about the physical cause we were around when he just used to get mad at mathewand brian. So please dont say there not human the just been abused for so long that they no longer no whats right or whats wrong. THE WORLD KINDDA OWES THEM SOMETHING FOR NEVER HELPING UNTIL IT WAS TO LATE.!!!! I HOPE MY STEP FATHER ROTTES IN JAIL FOR WHAT HE DID!!

Jessie McVicar
Jessie McVicar

I am part of a class action lawsuit against the government for just this topic and from what i understand their are a large number of adoptees getting ready to sue as well.

The one comment above where the peon said those kids deserve to be done away with for the good of society...I bet your a CPS worker..... if not you would make a good one as that is the attitude they have for the most part..

Out of 35 kids I knew and grew up with in foster care... 5 of us are alive today the rest died at the hands of foster care...

Adoption is disgusting and foster care... I just lack the words needed to describe such a savage and barbaric practice...

I can only hope we move past this savage brainless solution to foster care... but from what I see from people.. it will be us who were in the system and lucky enough to survive that will make that happen... by reading this story and posts all I see is "me me me me" and pointing fingers everywhere but where they belong.. the government and those who stand to profit from this disturbing thing people have come to call "In the best interests of the children"

If you support adoption and foster care you need to get your heads checked..

Jessie McVicar
Jessie McVicar

I can honestly say I felt the same as those boys did. I was stolen (Right or wrong) then the people who stole me abused me and I share those boys experience. I turned violent, sadistic and I wanted to hurt everyone. But on top to be sent away for this and for that... I probably would have gone insane too. But what do you do?

Well you make sure the system is not worse then abusive parents .... and it is... I know 10 years 13 homes not sure how mnay group homes.. and adoptive homes.. but the more you go threw this the worse you become... a child living in foster care is acting on pure instinct.... I know.. Everyone I hurt i hurt as in my mind I thought I needed to get them before they got me... and the truth was... it was true.. that was how it became instinct...

People tend not to think about how or why this kids act out but blame on on pasts and what not when the reality is...We feel like prisoners... we are prisoners... Even as an adult becuase I was in foster care I can never have a child.. or they will use my file agasint me and put my child in foster care/adoption.... as the system knows what they are creating.... and know most kids who grow up in care gert screwed right up and 8 out of 10 times can become a threat to their own children... In my case I was a threat to government if I spoke out or told people what was done to me in care.. I spoke out and now my son is forever gone.

I am not sure why I did not share my peers fate of violence crime hate and hurting people.. I went the other way... But what sets me apart from others...?

I took off from foster care and hid on the streets... therefore ending the abuse and insanity that comes when rich people want to play hero's but truly suck at it...

I don't feel pitty for the family who took them... I feel sorry for the kids... once the system touched them it was all over... and they will pay for the systems mistakes for the rest of their lives.. like I do now every time I close my eyes...

And it will be the kids that will have the fingers pointed at them... for being who they are... AND NOT THE GOVERNMENT WHO IS 100% responsible.... but will it stop? Nope the government just moves on to the next child... while asking the federal governments for more money...

Had my parents actually abused me like what the reports said... I would remember.. I remember everything.. that is the price to pay for having a photographic memory..

So when you read these reports that the bio-parents are responsible for children's behavior while in foster care.. don't believe it..

It's foster care it's self that fucks up us... as you read here some times beyond repair.... like these boys..

All I have to say is you want to adopt and foster? then be ready... when we come to you from with in the system... you are our enemy... because our friends would not hurt us, lie to us and take our parents from us... separating children from parents really really screws children up...... so you play with fire your gonna get burned... I just feel sorry for the kids... they will pay for these peoples mistakes for the rest of their lives... and the kids will end up getting all the blame while the system just moves onto the next poor family not able to defend themselves in court... while the rich just keep getting richer and adopting other peoples children... only it's been proven.. when you adopt you got q 50/50 chance of adopting a stolen child and not one who was in need of protection.... But by the looks of things after the system "protects" them they still are still in need of protection from the greedy, corrupt, heartless, abusive broken system run by the upper-class and their cronies...

If poverty had been eliminated like it was supposed to be none of this would be happening...

Jessie McVicar
Jessie McVicar

I can honestly say I felt the same as those boys did. I was stolen (Right or wrong) then the people who stole me abused me and I share those boys experience. I turned violent, sadistic and I wanted to hurt everyone. But on top to be sent away for this and for that... I probably would have gone insane too. But what do you do?

Well you make sure the system is not worse then abusive parents .... and it is... I know 10 years 13 homes not sure how mnay group homes.. and adoptive homes.. but the more you go threw this the worse you become... a child living in foster care is acting on pure instinct.... I know.. Everyone I hurt i hurt as in my mind I thought I needed to get them before they got me... and the truth was... it was true.. that was how it became instinct...

People tend not to think about how or why this kids act out but blame on on pasts and what not when the reality is...We feel like prisoners... we are prisoners... Even as an adult becuase I was in foster care I can never have a child.. or they will use my file agasint me and put my child in foster care/adoption.... as the system knows what they are creating.... and know most kids who grow up in care gert screwed right up and 8 out of 10 times can become a threat to their own children... In my case I was a threat to government if I spoke out or told people what was done to me in care.. I spoke out and now my son is forever gone.

I am not sure why I did not share my peers fate of violence crime hate and hurting people.. I went the other way... But what sets me apart from others...?

I took off from foster care and hid on the streets... therefore ending the abuse and insanity that comes when rich people want to play hero's but truly suck at it...

I don't feel pitty for the family who took them... I feel sorry for the kids... once the system touched them it was all over... and they will pay for the systems mistakes for the rest of their lives.. like I do now every time I close my eyes...

And it will be the kids that will have the fingers pointed at them... for being who they are... AND NOT THE GOVERNMENT WHO IS 100% responsible.... but will it stop? Nope the government just moves on to the next child... while asking the federal governments for more money...

Had my parents actually abused me like what the reports said... I would remember.. I remember everything.. that is the price to pay for having a photographic memory..

So when you read these reports that the bio-parents are responsible for children's behavior while in foster care.. don't believe it..

It's foster care it's self that fucks up us... as you read here some times beyond repair.... like these boys..

All I have to say is you want to adopt and foster? then be ready... when we come to you from with in the system... you are our enemy... because our friends would not hurt us, lie to us and take our parents from us... separating children from parents really really screws children up...... so you play with fire your gonna get burned... I just feel sorry for the kids... they will pay for these peoples mistakes for the rest of their lives... and the kids will end up getting all the blame while the system just moves onto the next poor family not able to defend themselves in court... while the rich just keep getting richer and adopting other peoples children... only it's been proven.. when you adopt you got q 50/50 chance of adopting a stolen child and not one who was in need of protection.... But by the looks of things after the system "protects" them they still are still in need of protection from the greedy, corrupt, heartless, abusive broken system run by the upper-class and their cronies...

If poverty had been eliminated like it was supposed to be none of this would be happening...

DAVIL
DAVIL

The records given to the parents stated the boys had only mild to moderate behavior problems!~! The adoptive parents were not given any of the boys' records showing sexual acting out or violent behavior!~ !~!~and The years of documented abuse in Florida's foster care includes being caged, starved, beaten, gagged and ritualistically and sexually abused~!~1`1`!~!and in #��BIGBISEXUAL.C O M��!~!# you can see more !~!

R
R

My heart aches for this family. My parents adopted a child through DCF in late 1970s who was later diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, although at the time he was referred to as an "unbonded child." He displayed many of the same behaviors detailed in this story (food hording, poisoning both of my parents, killing pets, hiding weapons, physical attacks, threatening/planning to kill both parents, setting fires, etc.). My parents pursued many of the same treatment options. DCF also pressured my parents to adopt quickly, and later met their requests for treatment assistance with the "he's yours now" attitude. I was disturbed to see that DCF's practices have not changed over the last 30 years.

While it may seem hopeless - and it very well may be - I do have the following words of encouragment: my brother is now 35, and he has become a close and loving member of our family. This did not happen until his mid-20s. Between 18-24, he had only minimal contact with my parents. He doesn't maintain romantic relationships (he was also sexually abused as a baby), and has difficulty staying employed for more than a year or two with the same company. He also doesn't miss a family event, he shows genuine affection, and visits my now retired parents regularly. In our eyes, he is an amazing success.

KP Ryan
KP Ryan

Terrible all around. These boys' lives are forever ruined by adults who used them as toys.

And in its wisdom, the Supreme Court claims sexual deviants who abuse children should not be killed. Yet the abusers of these boys left 3 who would have likely been better off killed by their tormentors, rather than left to rot as adults.

Riley
Riley

Debbie and Jorge-- the only thing to say about your dedication is don't let this stop you. Don't let this jade you. There -are- kids out there who can use loving, wonderful people like you, and not all of them are going to threaten to kill you (we hope). It's worrying to me, though, that this is out there. My husband and I are not going to have biological children. We feel that there are too many children who need positive influences in foster care and could benefit from 'having a safe place' that they can always return to, even just for visits, where we're their extended family, as it were. It's scary that we could foster and this could be the same situation for us; the suffering and pain you have all gone through (you two and your eldest) is something I cannot even grasp. I have always felt that I did not want to have my own children biologically when I could foster and help make the system a -little- better... but reading this is discouraging as Michigan's foster system isn't much better, frankly (try googling the story of Ricky Holland), and it makes a fear seat itself deep inside my heart that something like this could fall upon us. It is an act of selflessness and dedication to be a good, proper foster or adoptive parent; to be the type of household where someone can look back fondly and say, 'you know, those people aren't so bad,'- I just hope this doesn't kill your drive to continue being a light of hope for children.

Samantha
Samantha

I just thought of one other thing, these boys I'm sure acted out sexually, and the behavior only briefly alluded to in the article regarding their contact with other playmates I'm sure involved some kind of sexual abuse. They also acted out on each other. What am I getting at? If charges can be pressed and they are convicted, they'll be sexual offenders for life, and can at least be registered and tracked. They'll also be prohibited from being around children, which means they'll less likely abuse the children of a single mom they hook up with. The future is horrifying to me. It's time to stop thinking about them and think about the welfare of young women they might meet, and children in the future. I have no idea why no parent has pressed charges by now, but it's time to stop covering up and protecting them. I'm sorry, that's just the way I see it.

Samantha
Samantha

Debbie, you are a saint for all you attempted to do with these children. I'm sorry to say, but they are twisted beyond repair. In my opinion, they may get to a point where they are no longer a danger to others, but that will only be after years more of therapy. It scares me that the article said that at 18 they can check themselves out. How? I don't understand why they wouldn't get a psych eval at 18, be diagnosed as violent sociopaths, and be committed. They also admitted to criminal behavior, and if it comes down to pressing charges (for poisoning you, breaking your jaw and killing the horses) I would do it, to keep them behind four walls. I don't know what they did at various military academys and such but I'll bet that was criminal behavior as well. It's time to press charges, honestly. If these boys get out, they will kill somebody. They are mensa members, violent people with genius IQ's. They can rack up dozens of bodies before anyone notices. They can bury people alive in the backyard and no one will know. Something needs to be done.

Chelsea
Chelsea

God Bless you and your husband for not abandoning these children. Someday perhaps they will vanquish the inner demons and find some semblance of peace.

Amy
Amy

What a sad and difficult reality this couple wakes up to each morning. I don't understand why the State of Florida, who has admitted failing this family, feels okay with the settlement being on paper, feels okay with letting the bill sit in the legislature and feels okay with letting this couple go uncompensated another day. Quit failing this family and pass the legislation to give them the money needed to properly care for these boys. I am a mother of 3 daughters and anyone who is a parent knows that we have to teach our children about sexual predators. Almost everyday we hear or read the news about a young woman/girl being kidnapped, murdered. I read recently that when sexually abused boys go untreated society will suffer the consequences thru various crimes including more sexual abuse. I also read that one third of juvenile delinquents, 40% of sexual offenders and 76% of serial rapists report that they were sexually abused as children. How dare DCF and the State of Florida put its citizens at greater and greater risk by not providing sexually abused children in their care with the best treatment possible. I wonder how much we as taxpayers pay monetaritly for the incarcerated pedifiles and serial rapists not to mention what we pay as a society in the human cost of suffering. I am sure it's way more than the millions due this couple.

Penny E.
Penny E.

Debby, God bless you and your husband and do not be disheartened by some of the comments posted here. I was in Children's Services for years in varying capacities in Broward County, Fla. I appreciate the intent of the foster care program...i.e. a home atmosphere for children...but, in the overall picture, I often questioned why "we" did not return to the orphanages of the past. Sounds cruel does it not? Well, when one is first hand witness to children being shuffled around like a deck of cards, or being abusedin a licensed home after being removed from there natural parents because of extreme neglect or abuse, it is an eye-opener. The children lose the fragile trust they have in others. And often display so many ill behaviors that it is understandable why the best intended and equipped licensed subsequent foster or adoptive parents can no longer care for them. I often said "this is a overall deplorable situation." Not in every case but in far too many cases. Our ability to bond is our link to humanity. At least in orphanages versus foster care, the caretaking would be more monitored. Children would have stability of environment. The staff would be professionally trained and have a better support system with more resource availabity. There could be a close network of different disciplines involved with the child...caretakers, therapists,physicians, educators. Closed circuit monitors would record the daily operation of the living environment.

I am not the only longtime social worker who feels as I do.And, I know there are numerous loving and nurturing foster parents. Overall, though, I do feel we threw out the child when we threw out the bathwater so to speak. That is, when with the information we now have as to even just the detriment of moving children from one caretaker to another; with our idealic view of foster parenting often being crushed; with the modernization of abilities to monitor care; and certainly, with all the knowledge of a need for psychological care for all these children, the return to the orphanage concept should be explored. But let's call it another name but orphanage, for sure.

Bless you and your husband and the many other wonderful nurturers who are or ever have been a part of the system.And my heart breaks for all the kids who are or who ever have been part of the system as it indicates that at one point in their life..and hopefully, it was only prior to placement..they did not get the care they so much deserved.

Debbie
Debbie

To help answer some of the questions asked in the comments...

Florida's Department of Children and Families hid from the adoptive parents all of the abuse that happened to these boys while they were in state care. It was years later (and only with legal help) that boxes of information including police abuse reports were seen by the parents for the first time.

The children entered Florida's foster care as a newborn, a one and a two year old. The boys were adopted as a six, five and almost four year old. The years of documented abuse in Florida's foster care includes being caged, starved, beaten, gagged and ritualistically and sexually abused. Even when the boys' last foster father was arrested for raping a child, DCF did not inform the adoptive parents.

The adoptive parents were told by DCF that there may have been abuse years ago by the biological parents, but the boys had been safely in foster care since they were very, very young and had no memory of it. The records given to the parents stated the boys had only mild to moderate behavior problems. The adoptive parents were not given any of the boys' records showing sexual acting out or violent behavior.

The decision to adopt from DCF was not a rushed one by the parents. They waited five years after adopting their first child while the adoptive mother worked as a school principal. They then spent months taking the DCF parent training class, were screened and had background checks completed and then had a home study completed.

Before the parents were given information about these boys they turned down two other sets of children because they thought their behavior problems were too severe. After receiving information about the three brothers, records show that the adoption was rushed by DCF and not the parents. The adoptive parents had no reason at the time not to trust DCF or the information they had received.

The severe behavior (including violent and sexual behavior) did not start or was not discovered until after the adoption. Like most foster children in a new situation, there was a "honeymoon" period of better behavior. At first the boys were relieved to be in a safe environment with plenty of food and toys to play with. The parents were told that the children just needed love, boundaries and social skills and that they were making excellent progress.

No rational person would knowingly become involved with such disturbed children. Any person who decides to adopt a foster child has the right to know exactly what they could be facing.

All available information about these boys should have been given to the adoptive parents before they even met the children, and long before the adoption so they could make an informed decision. Instead, DCF spent years hiding information and more years refusing to help children they admit were "badly damaged in our care".

It must be said that after the adoption, once DCF started hearing about the boys� behavior in the new home (but long before there was a legal case), threats and intimidation were the next step. Calls looking for "dirt" on the adoptive family were made, including to the children�s therapist. It was also made clear that the adoptive parents could be charged by law enforcement with abandonment if they tried to return the children to DCF.

How do I know this... I am the adoptive mother.

Debbie
Debbie

To help answer some of the questions asked in the comments...

Florida's Department of Children and Families hid from the adoptive parents all of the abuse that happened to these boys while they were in state care. It was years later (and only with legal help) that boxes of information including police abuse reports were seen by the parents for the first time.

The children entered Florida's foster care as a newborn, a one and a two year old. The boys were adopted as a six, five and almost four year old. The years of documented abuse in Florida's foster care includes being caged, starved, beaten, gagged and ritualistically and sexually abused. Even when the boys' last foster father was arrested for raping a child, DCF did not inform the adoptive parents.

The adoptive parents were told by DCF that there may have been abuse years ago by the biological parents, but the boys had been safely in foster care since they were very, very young and had no memory of it. The records given to the parents stated the boys had only mild to moderate behavior problems. The adoptive parents were not given any of the boys' records showing sexual acting out or violent behavior.

The decision to adopt from DCF was not a rushed one by the parents. They waited five years after adopting their first child while the adoptive mother worked as a school principal. They then spent months taking the DCF parent training class, were screened and had background checks completed and then had a home study completed.

Before the parents were given information about these boys they turned down two other sets of children because they thought their behavior problems were too severe. After receiving information about the three brothers, records show that the adoption was rushed by DCF and not the parents. The adoptive parents had no reason at the time not to trust DCF or the information they had received.

The severe behavior (including violent and sexual behavior) did not start or was not discovered until after the adoption. Like most foster children in a new situation, there was a "honeymoon" period of better behavior. At first the boys were relieved to be in a safe environment with plenty of food and toys to play with. The parents were told that the children just needed love, boundaries and social skills and that they were making excellent progress.

No rational person would knowingly become involved with such disturbed children. Any person who decides to adopt a foster child has the right to know exactly what they could be facing. All available information about these boys should have been given to the adoptive parents before they even met the children, and long before the adoption. Instead, DCF spent years hiding information and more years refusing to help children they admit were "badly damaged in our care".

It must be said that after the adoption, once DCF started hearing about the boys� behavior in the new home (but long before there was a legal case), threats and intimidation were the next step. Calls looking for "dirt" on the adoptive family were made, including to the children�s therapist. It was also made clear that the adoptive parents could be charged by law enforcement with abandonment if they tried to return the children to DCF.

How do I know this... I am the adoptive mother.

f. shadow
f. shadow

The story was riveting but a number of very important questions were not addressed.What was the hurry? Were these kids presented like a New York rent control apartment? Were there other people waiting in the wings to scoop them up? We take more time and are more judicious about choosing a car or a puppy. We have our mechanic check out the car and we might ask to look at maintenance records. With the puppy we want to see the sire, dam, litter mates, and question the socialization process.This was a major life decision that would take up the better part of two decades. It is inconceivable that anyone could act so hastily.Unless, religion enters the picture. Perhaps the youth minister felt that a divine presence was involved with these particular children crossing his path. A true believer might feel it was destiny and heaven sent. That would explain the rapid adoption and even the overlooking of the horrific manifestations of behavior.The author did not fill in the blanks so I offer this explanation.

Thom Debord
Thom Debord

Shattering story. Assuming there's not some deep dark secret that the adopted parents are hiding (and there could be; one should instinctively distrust anybody with such strong ties to a church community), the situation seems terminal. This Rosa dude is obviously fucked up in some way that he is powerless to address, which led to these kids being fucked up in some even more profound and unfixable way, which has in turn potentially ruined the lives of this well-meaning couple. They're probably doing the right thing by getting these kids committed, but doing the right thing is no guarantor of success. All they can do is keep tinkering, trying new things, hoping for the best even though all signs point toward the inevitability of the worst. Miserable situation, and best wishes to the parents. Congrats to the author, too, for rendering the story so elegantly. - TD

Ralph Williams
Ralph Williams

Those "children" are not human. They don't have emotion. They need to be put down for the good of society.

Benny
Benny

It's sad, but I see a lot of older men who are afraid to "come out" after being raised in an atmosphere of unwritten gender-identity rules and old-tyme religion. I know that for me it was a challenge to face my fears about faith and god and the ways we accept or reject ourselves, but I'm young. It saddens me to see men who've spent their whole life trying to cover-up a compulsive, barely awknowledged, and yet incredibly rich and complex side of themselves. It's not a sin to be left-handed, but it may be a sin to always be writing with the right hand just to keep the "love" of those close to you. It's a sin because that isn't real love; it's fear. Don't betray yourself in order to not betray another. That is the highest betrayal. BiLoves.com is a good place for people to come out.

 
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