I’m the “good news” type of blogger generally. I like to tell the happy stories, the warm and fuzzy stuff. But let’s face it, raising kids is not always that way. In fact, even in good times, it’s work. With foster kids– and again, just being honest– there is (often) more work. Hard work. Eye-opening work.

Take the case of Jim. Jim’s family adopted a sibling group of 5 about 2 years ago. At the time of adoption, the group contained 2 teens and the youngest was 5. They are all boys. They were not always together but had been parceled out amongst various family members. The middle one of these kids had been sexually abused by a “family friend.” Not once, but often. So often, in fact, that this child, a preteen at the time, was convinced this man loved him and was attached to him.

Fast forward a couple of years. There is no tactful way to say it: this child acts out sexually. Often. He has made advances toward his siblings. Rehabilitation for a disorder of this kind is hard work. There are door alarms on his room; he is constantly supervised; he can never be alone with his siblings; he is in three kinds of therapy.  Jim’s family has been doing this work, willingly, but to little success.

Now the family is faced with a tough choice: Keep the family together while this child comes of age and hope they are able to keep the other members safe, or disrupt the adoption of this one child. It is a heart-wrenching, gut aching, desperate choice. But they see no other option. They want a different outcome for the other four boys. They want those boys to be able to live relatively healthy normal lives. They are not looking for some pie in the sky happy ending, just an acceptable one.

Disruption is rare but it does happen. The parents will– but should not– blame themselves. Sometimes things fall apart. It’s just reality.

Have faith that the best you can do really is the best you can do. Jim and his family have saved the lives of the 4 other kids– and that is no small thing.