Ann is 16. She was adopted into her family when she was 15 after over ten placements, including three failed adoptions. She was in a Residential Treatment Center when she was 13. Ann lived with her birthmother for her first six years during. Ann was abused and neglected. She suffered burns and cuts, the scaring of which is visible today. Ann cared for her younger siblings. One of her younger siblings drowned in the bathtub.
The following letter is from Ann to her younger brother Bob who is in a foster home after he was violent toward his pre-adoptive parents. Ann has been in treatment approximately a year when she wrote this letter. She is doing very well in school, has real friends, has learned to love and trust her parents and new siblings, and has made remarkable progress. The letter speaks for itself:
I just wanted to write to you and tell you what I think that you should know. Everyone needs a family, too bad we had such an awful one with our birth mom Dee and we never learned how to love or be loved but you need a family. I have a great family and its made all the difference in the world for me. They taught me how to be happy. I know it's hard to trust; but you have to let people take care of you so that you can learn how to love and so that you can be happy.
I went through some rough times at home and in therapy. For a while I didn't want to work in therapy but then I realized he's really trying to help me and he really has Bob, he taught me to stop running from myself and from others. He taught me to talk about what is bothering me and he has taught me to love and trust my parents and my family. My parents really love me and I'm beginning to believe that a lot and it makes me happy.
Bob, you can do it too. Go home, listen to your mom and dad, let them take care of you, trust them even though you may not want to but it is for your best trust me. Listen to them though you don't want to but they do know what is best for you. Work hard in therapy and listen to Arthur, he can help you, you know why because if he helped me he can help you out. If you are thinking about Dee let me tell you something, Dee never talked to us, she never took care of us.
You have to let people love you, you have to move on with your life, do what is best for you and you know what that means, you are getting older you need to act your age, behave, treat your mom and dad with respect, they love you. Do you love them do you want to live and be with them. You need to let them into your heart and love, trust me Bob. I love you and I want the best for you. Write back as soon as possible. I Love you!
See Bob's letter back to Ann.
See Bob's Placement Agreement