The Little Girl

Nov 21-30, 1997

Once upon a time there was a little girl. This little girl lived with her mom sometimes and with her grandma sometimes and sometimes she lived with other people. She had a younger brother and sister, and sometimes they lived with her and sometimes they didn't. Sometimes when she lived with her mom she wasn't treated very well. Sometimes, she was treated very badly. One time, she was treated very, VERY badly and after that, she went to live with some other people whom she'd never met before.

While she lived with these people, everyone was very kind to her, and no one treated her badly. Sometimes she saw her grandma and lots of times she saw her brother and sister. A few times she even saw her mom, but those times didn't go too well.

One day, she was told that the people she lived with wanted to "adopt" her. The way they explained it, she would be their little girl and her other mom would still be her birthmom but she would never have to live with her again. This sounded like a good idea to the little girl, and she said so.

Eventually, everything was settled, and everyone was happy. But, one day, the little girl asked to see her little brother and sister. Her new mom and dad thought that was a reasonable request and they contacted the social worker. The social worker, however, said that their request was totally out of the question. When the little girl's relationship with her birth mother had been terminated, so had the relationship with her siblings.

The little girl became very sad. She didn't blame her new parents, and she understood that her first mom had done bad things to her, and that she would never have to have those bad things happen to her again. Even so, she missed her brother and sister. With all the love her adoptive parents gave her, they couldn't give her the special love that she'd gotten from them.

As the little girl grew, she realized that her sister was now the age that she had been when the bad things started happening to her. She worried that the bad things might be happening to her sister, too. She and her adoptive parents repeatedly asked for help to find the brother and sister, but no one would help them. The pain of not knowing what was going on with her brother and sister grew even faster than the little girl. To escape the pain, sometimes the little girl took pills. Sometimes, she got drunk. Sometimes, she had sex. Sometimes, she tried to hurt herself, to make all the pain end "for good".

Since no one would help because of the way the laws were written, the adoptive parents took their daughter to see a man who helped to make the laws. The man was so touched by what he heard that he promised to do all he could to help her, and he did.

In the mean time, the little girl continued to grow, and to hurt, and to search. After a long time, they got a "lead" and a long time later, they actually found the little girl's brother and sister. She was very happy to learn that bad things had not happened to her sister, and that her brother was OK, too. Some of the pain went away. But some of the pain stayed. Some of the things she learned to do to live with the pain became habits that were too hard to break. Sometimes, she still hurt herself.

The man who helped to make the laws kept his promise. He changed things so that other little boys and girls wouldn't face the same hopelessness that this little girl faced when he'd first met her.

HINT: Even adoptions done "in the best interests of the child" can be hurtful. Adoptive parents aren't the "bad guys", neither are social workers or lawmakers. But, things can and should be handled differently, and WILL BE when the people involved make it a priority in their lives to change things.

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