Siblings Shouldn't Be Separate
“Are they twins?”
It’s the single most asked question we receive. My adopted daughters are actually 15 months apart, but with one’s petite build and bird-like appetite and the other’s football player physique and double-fisting approach to food, they look the exact same age. The second most asked question we get is if they are “real” sisters. My sweet (yet educational) response is a gracious, “No, they’re not biological sisters.” In fact, we have four adopted/foster children in our home right now, and none of them are biological siblings.
When we became foster parents, we were perfectly content with our one-boy-one-girl-perfect-little-family and planned on only temporarily bringing a third child into the mix. But of course, she stayed, and along came the fourth...and the fifth...and the sixth. And while I know that God has perfectly formed our family, I often “wish” that we had known we were going to take in multiple children. If we had known we had room in our hearts and home for so many kids (read as: the mental/emotional capacity for utter chaos), we could’ve kept a group of siblings together.
As I’ve gotten more entrenched in this foster care world, I’ve become more aware of how common and heartbreaking the reality of separating siblings is. Because there’s another reality at play: There just aren’t enough beds, aren’t enough homes, aren’t enough families.
Last week my whole “I wish siblings didn’t have to be separated” went from hypothetical to very real. I saw on a foster mom support group that twins were going to be released from the hospital and needed a home. The girls needed a stay-at-home mom with the space, not to mention the willingness, to take in two premature, needy babies. No one could take them. I heard a couple of days later from a friend at the division that they still hadn’t found a home. They had conferences and called other offices and worked for days to find a home where these twin sisters could be together. Nothing was found.
On Thursday of last week I brought one little girl home from the hospital. One twin. One half of a set. These girls who shared their mother’s womb for nearly seven months, shared a hospital room for nearly four, and shared every moment of their little lives together, were separated.
Yes, the other foster mom and I have been texting every day. Yes, the girls will visit together a couple of times a week. And, yes, one or both of the girls will be moved as soon as possible, so that they can be together. But for now, these twins are living in different homes, with different families.
I can only imagine how many of your mama’s hearts are breaking for these girls, how many of you are crying out with a tender: “I would take them!” And while, of course, you can't take these specific children, there are children just like them, siblings just like them, that you could open your home and family to.
Where you live, today, there may be twin girls being released from the hospital. Or there may be a teenage boy and his toddler sister being moved from an abusive foster home. Or there may be a group of three or four or five siblings being removed from their parents. Where you live, today, there are real children who need a home, real siblings that you could give the gift of “together” to.
If you happen to live where I live, you can learn more about being a foster parent or get started in the process at one of DCP&P’s interest meetings. Sign up here!
In case you were wondering why we weren't able to take our girl's twin sister, our license (and home and van!) only allow for two placements (on top of our two bios and two adopted). Also, already having a 7yo, 5yo, 3yo, 2yo, & 7mo, I sort of have my hands full! ;)