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Saturday, January 4, 2014

A plea for help

Is anyone able to help or offer advice? One of our members sent this today, and I'm unsure how to help. Maybe just spreading the word will have an impact. If anyone works in social services or has any information or advice or connections that might help this family, please let me know - you can email gsofamilies@gmail.com and I will pass it along. Thank you!

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My husband and I need some help and advice. We have a niece who is 6 1/2 years old. She was abused at around 4-6 wks old causing brain damage. She was taken away from her parents. We weren't only her aunt and uncle, but we were her legal grandparents since we had adopted my younger brother.

While she was in the hospital we started trying to get her placed in our home. We had 4 small children ourselves and this little girl was like our own. DSS wasn't very kind to us. We had to research to find out when court dates were and show up to get any information. No one would communicate much with us. We eventually got supervised visitation then unsupervised. She remained in the same foster home throughout. We drove every week over 30 minutes one way to pick her up and spend a few hours with her and take her home. I had concerns that she wasn't being properly taken care of being a special needs child. Eventually parental rights were terminated.

Our niece turned 2 years old. Shortly after, we were moving and took a break from visitation for a couple of weeks to get packed/moved. When we called to resume visitation we were informed that an adoption had been finalized and the adoptive mom's wishes were that we no longer came around. We never saw our niece again.

One night earlier this week my husband responded to a house fire while at work. Once he was almost at the house it hit him that it was our niece's house. Upon arriving he was told he couldn't go in the home, which was only slightly damaged on the inside. When he asked why, and told them he knew the people living there, he was informed that the home was full of trash and human feces. They condemned the home.

The kids were at a neighbors house. The adoptive mom was putting up curtains and doing various other things instead of exiting the home as she was told to do. My husband called me to tell me what all he had witnessed.

The next day we called DSS to find out what was going on. They had no idea what we were talking about at first. We found out later that day, that they are investigating the case. Yesterday we received a call from the caseworker asking if we know where the children are. They can't find them! We told them where we knew the adoptive mom's parents live which is in another state.

I'm so afraid this will be swept under the rug. I need any advice. We don't have the money to fight this, but our niece should have been with us from the beginning. That poor child has suffered so much in her life. I had no idea she was living in such poor conditions. She can't walk well. I know she still uses a walker. I can't imagine her crawling around in that mess everyday.

If anyone has any connections to help us, I would really appreciate it. Thank you in advance!

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