There are few child abuse stories that can really get to me anymore because I’ve heard so many of them, but this one got me.
An 8 year old girl snuck out of her house and a neighbor found her walking down a gravel road. She was found beaten, bruised and bloodied. She also told the neighbor that she had not eaten in several days.
Police went to investigate and the mother admitted to beating the girl with a “hard heeled” shoe. When they investigated the home further, they found the bodies of two children in the freezer in the home. I am at a loss for words to adequately describe what I am feeling.
This story is garnering a great deal of attention because this is an adoptive family. The public is appalled that the woman continued to collect the $2,400 a month in adoption subsidy. I’m appalled on a larger level. The money is the least of my concerns. What must this little girl be feeling right now? Not only has she suffered abuse herself, but her two biological sisters are dead. How did these girls die? I highly suspect that they were abused as well. Did they die from the abuse? Did the little girl witness the deaths of her sisters? Did they die at the same time, or were these two separate incidents? The fear this little girl must feel is unfathomable. Newspaper reports indicate that the mother admitted the bodies of the girls have been in the freezer at least seven months. Other reports indicate nearly a year.
The public is upset because there were no follow up visits to the home once the adoption was finalized. That is the way it is with adoption. Once it is finalized, you have the same rights as a birth parent. How many birth parents have social workers come to their home and do follow up visits once they bring an infant home from the hospital? If the public wants visits to continue after adoption, how long should they continue? Six months, a year, two years, five years? How is it going to be funded and where are the workers going to come from to monitor these cases? They are overloaded with cases as it is.
The family has moved a few times since the adoptions were finalized and the children were not enrolled in school. Neighbors indicated that they were unaware that there were children in the house. They had never seen any children. There wasn’t really anyone to noticed that these kids were missing or that anything was wrong.
Who is to blame here? I don’t know for sure, but I do know it will be a very long time before this little girl allows herself to trust or love anyone. She has a very long road of healing ahead of her. The physical scars will heal long before the emotional ones.