Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ann's Story Part 48: Afterward

Roland did also heal and we did start taking Ann to church with us a couple of times a month. She also came to our house for a couple of respites.

It turns out though that I was once again wrong. Living with Mandy and John with no more than 2 other girls was not enough. I don't know how many months later, but she eventually left Mandy for a stay at a youth ranch. Mandy expected to get her back when she "graduated" from the program, but Ann was instead put up for adoption.

For a while I was able to get permission to maintain contact with her, when Mandy was not. Everyone, including Ann, understood that placement with me was not an option. Ironically, because I was not fighting to keep her, I was allowed to have her in my life. Mandy was always grateful that I was in that position. She never once made me feel badly that I could see her when she could not. She always asked me to pass on her love to Ann when I saw her and to tell her how Ann was doing.

After the youth ranch, Ann began the series of "placment hopping" that has continued for the past two years. The state has twice placed her in pre-adoption placements which have failed. In the first case it was obvious to me that it would not work. The family had no experience at all with foster care. It was not clear to me that anyone had explained to them what Ann was really like. I don't know everywhere she has been in the three years since she left me but it includes at least the following (this is in chronological order as I understand it):

Mandy's (6 months?)
Youth Ranch (6 months)
Temporary Foster Home
Pre-Adoptive Placement
Temporary Foster Home
"Trial" Placement with my agency, again
Temporary Foster Home
Pre-Adoptive Placement
Group Home
Temporary Foster Home

Recently she and Mandy have been corresponding by email. Ann turned 16 ealier this month.*

*This post was originally posted June 2006, three years after she left our home.

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