August 21, 2006
Dear CAICW: We are in dire need of some counsel from your organization. We are a Christian family and have recently brought home a little girl who is 1/4 (Choctaw and Chickasaw) and 3/4 Caucasian. The agency that we went through did not send the notification letters to the tribes early in the process and felt that this was a low risk adoption and that direct placement would be alright. We have not signed the adoption placement agreement yet because our social worker said we had to wait for the Indian tribes to respond. She had heard from one of the tribes (Chickasaw) but when that social worker’s supervisor received our social worker’s message, he called her back and said that they ARE intervening. In fact, the Choctaw tribe is sending profiles to the adoption agency for them to pick a family for (the baby). We heard this sad news last Friday and have been deeply discouraged ever since. We have had (the baby) for almost six weeks (she will be seven weeks old on Thursday) and are devastated about the fact that she may be removed from our home. We are a godly couple who has tried to have a child for over eight years. We are a middle income family and don’t have money for a large court case but would do whatever it took to keep (her). In fact, this weekend my husband and I put together a letter to the two tribal social workers, complete with an action plan of how to keep (her) heritage alive for her and also how Native Americans have influences our lives and the lives of our family. …PLEASE HELP US!! We believe that God has put (her) in our home and do not want the tribes to take her away.
….THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! We have been trying to start a family for 8 1/2 years and in April were going to pick up a little girl and were called in midstream to turn around because the birthmother had decided to parent. So, we were hopeful about this little girl. Now our hearts are grieving. However, we believe that God is in control….
UPDATE October 5, 2006
I want to thank you and your organization for pointing us in the right direction. The information and encouragement that we received from John Moore …was what we needed to fight for our daughter…. We currently have hired one of the best adoption attorneys in … and she is consulting with one of the top ICWA attorneys in the country. We have established a legal defense fund and the finances are pouring in. God is SO good.
Our attorney has put together a plan of action and we should be hearing from her today or tomorrow. We will then approach our adoption agency and pray that everything moves along quickly and inexpensively.
Thanks SO much for being there at a time that I was ready to give up. We still have a long way to go but are grateful for you, your organization and all the help that we have received. Blessings to you,
UPDATE November 13, 2006
(Baby) is now four months old and is still with us. One of the two tribes pulled out last week. They stated that (Baby) wasn’t eligible for tribal membership and, therefore, ICWA didn’t apply in this instance. PRAISE THE LORD!! One down, one to go.
We have a wonderful attorney who is working with us. We believe that the Lord led us to her…
We are currently trying to locate the birthmother so that she can sign away her ICWA rights. She is military and on deployment. The birthfather is willing to do whatever it takes. That is a good sign.
After this, we believe that the …tribe will back down. This is our prayer, at least.
By the way, is your organization familiar with … in Arizona? He is an AWESOME resource in dealing with the tribes. He is the first person who gave us real hope of winning this. In fact, our attorney conferred with him and is helped her to put the case together. … he has fought ICWA cases for 20 years and is very knowledgeable. He would be a great reference for any future cases you come across.
Thanks again for being there when we needed help. Your organization is such a blessing. I’ll keep you posted as the months progress.