Painting by Jen Norton
Today’s Story –
I am dealing with the state of Florida and a foster home who has my two young sisters 12/14. I’m 30 and my husband is 33. I live in Illinois and have only had communication with the foster home guardians, case worker & Guardian Ad Litem for my sisters. I have been run through the mill of excuses since January as to why I cannot speak to my sisters, that they have been placed in a foster home, and despite me telling them immediately upon contact in January that I wanted to adopt them (after finding out Termination of Parental Rights had happened, adoption is the only option)… in the meantime, they let this foster family put in an adoption application.
So only a few weeks ago, they FINALLY let me and my husband put in an application, at the very least to pause their current applicant. And now they won’t answer my messages or update me on the ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) process at all. When we have spoken, they guilt trip me about ruining my sisters current adoption journey with this family, that they need me as a “sister and not a mom”, and a laundry list of other things.
I have been trying to find an attorney to help me but they either ghost me or cannot help me because my biological mom & their father lost parental rights, plus she passed away this year. It has to be an attorney in Florida. I do not intend on EVER having them refer to us as “mom & dad”, but I told them I am capable of being a parent to them, despite being their sister. Also, keeping their legal names is also in the cards, as well as retaining their current birth certificates. If I could take guardianship I would, but the only option presented to me is adoption.
I have spoken with my sister recently (she contacted me on Facebook through my other sister) and they do want to be with me. This potential adoptive family was “matched” to them only in late November. They didn’t move in with them until February. They can’t adopt them until they live with them for 6 months.
Someone recommended Mrs Debra Salisbury in Florida. “She is a bulldog with a bone. Won’t turn loose. Very much someone you want on your side.” Another said, “She is the best lawyer money can buy. She is the ONLY ONE you will want beside you to fight if you find yourself needing a family law attorney. I wouldn’t have won my case if it wasn’t for her and her amazing team. Her knowledge and determination for her clients success shows. I have my family back together thanks to her and I am grateful for all her hard work!” Other recommendations were Rachel Medlin, Jeanne Tate, Juliana Gaita Monjaraz, all in Florida. And there were others with similar information passing it on via private messages. Always reach out if you have a sticky situation problem.
I hope this recommendation helps her or that another one equally good comes along. Always kinship, an immediate family member is the best for such children.