Four brothers, Jacob (age 7), Chris (age 6), Kyle (age 3) and Brandon (age 1), were removed from their home due to severe physical abuse and neglect. Kyle and Brandon were adopted soon after by their foster parents. But the two older brothers spent many years in and out of their father’s home and moving between multiple foster placements.
Robert was appointed to be Jacob and Chris’s CASA volunteer. He soon discovered that the boys were living in a psychologically and emotionally abusive foster home. The foster parents repeatedly said within earshot of the kids that they would never be adoptable because they had so many problems. The parents had also become skilled at convincing others that the boys suffered from many problems. Jacob and Chris had both been on multiple medications for several years, some of them possibly very detrimental. The foster parents reported behaviors to the psychiatrist who then prescribed more and more medications – behaviors that were never witnessed by the CASA, nor reported by the boys’ teachers.
After several visits, Robert began to shine a light on what others in the case did not see and were not reporting on. He kept on top of the monthly medical visits, diligently pouring over the doctor’s reports and comparing them to reports from prior visits. If the doctor prescribed a new medication, Robert would call him and question him about it.
He discovered many of the things the foster parents said were fabricated. The foster mother stopped allowing the CASA regular visits with the children, and when the judge learned of this, he reprimanded the foster parent and court ordered that Robert have full access to the foster home. Finally, the caseworker, counselor and others began to see the foster home in a different light and to see the boys with different possibilities. Maybe they were not “unadoptable” after all.
Robert never gave up in his firm belief that the boys would be adopted, that they would not languish in this foster home until they aged out at age 18. He always kept a positive attitude and fought for this outcome. The miraculous ending is that the boys were adopted by the same family who adopted their younger brothers.
When the four brothers were finally reunited it was a wonderful and profound moment. Today, the boys are no longer on multiple medications – Chris takes only one low dosage medication for ADHD.
NOTE: Jacob, Chris, Kyle & Brandon’s story is real, but their names and picture have been changed to protect their identities.