A happy nine-year-old boy felt safe and loved his whole life, but the law proved to be stronger than love this time.
He had his whole world taken away from him in the blink of an eye when the only people he knew as his parents were forced to give him away. Now they are all feeling the pain and fear of being separated from each other, according to Christian News Today.
The British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development chose to remove the young boy from foster care to live with his birth mother after being placed in the foster family's home when he was seven months old.
Canada's Global News reported the child's foster father, identified as “John,” tried his best to make the boy feel better as he was taken away:
“We love you more than anything in the world. Make sure you use your words because your words can be powerful.”
The nine-year-old boy was heartbroken when he was removed from his home. He refused to go with his birth mother, pleading with her to let him stay with the foster family:
“If you love me, you’ll leave me where I am.”
The child who called John “Daddy” was gone. He described the moment the boy was separated from him and his wife to Global News:
“It was more crushing than anyone will ever know. When you see a child — that all he knows is the house he was brought up in for almost nine years — being taken away.”
The one thing that made the nine-year-old and the foster family feel better was the promise they could stay in contact with each other. What was meant to calm everyone's fears soon became terrifying for the foster father when the child sent him an email saying “HELP.”
John could not get an answer when he tried to reach the boy to make sure he was okay. John said:
“I was forced at that particular time to call 911. He had, in his message, said, ‘I am home alone,’ and he’s underage. That should never happen. My biggest fear is something may happen to him.”
The foster parents were cut-off from speaking to the boy after that happened; even the two phone calls per week they were promised have been withheld. Now, they have not talked to the boy they raised in six weeks. Through his tears, the worried foster father said, "Daddy loves you. Be strong.”
Worried and afraid, the foster parents feel like the system has let them down. The pair has fostered about 50 children, with the majority of their foster kids already transitioned back to living with their birth families.
Trisha Myers, manager of issue management with the Ministry of Children and Family Development, addressed the foster parents' concerns:
“In cases where foster parents don’t feel like they’re heard by the ministry, there are protocols they can go through and people they can talk to to get further information within the system.”
The nine-year-old boy's biological sister was also returned to her birth mother after being raised in the foster care system.