Have you ever seen The Color Purple? Do you remember the scene where Celie and her sister Nettie were split up? No? Ok …. take a gander:
While the circumstances were different tonight, the feeling in my heart was pretty much the same. We have to separate siblings all the time. And when I mean “we” I mean at Safe Place we get a call form ChildNet that placement has been found and the child must be prepared to leave. We then do our best to prepare the children, especially when it comes to having children placed in different homes.
You may be asking why siblings would ever have to be separated. Well, there are various reasons. 1. Foster homes may only have room for one of two children. If there is a sibling group of four, and there are four foster homes that each only have one bed each, then those children will probably have to be split up. 2. Sometimes the siblings are half siblings and the relatives will only take the ones who are related by blood. This is not uncommon. 3. There may be a sibling that has special medical needs or has enhanced behavioral/mental health challenges that require a different type of licensed foster home.
Tonight, I witnessed a scene similar to Celie and Nettie’s experience. While no one was throwing rocks at a child or cursing them to get out of the building, we did have to pry one child’s brother out of her arms because he was going to a different placement. She was obviously very attached to her little brother, but there was nothing we could do. Will these two children see each other again? Probably during sibling visits. I can’t say what will happen in the future, but I am confident God knows and I have to trust He will make it all OK.
These situations make the little problems I have in my world seem so minuscule.
Do you want to help? Become a foster parent for siblings and you can help prevent these types of situations.
Father, help me to keep a healthy perspective of how fortunate I am. That I do not have experience this trauma, and I do not have to fear never seeing my family again outside of the reality of you taking them home. Lord, be with these children tonight as they sleep. Give them new hope tomorrow. Help us adults remember to keep our hearts soft to their pain, and that we never become numb to their situations. They are your precious ones, Father. Amen.