Sunday, March 11, 2012
Tori's Story: A Voice for Foster Care
I had the privilege to meet two courageous foster parents that in my mind are true angels. They were the special guests at the event I attend this weekend in San Fransisco. Both Kelli and Terry Sedgewick did everything they could to NOT have their foster daughter, Tori, returned to her birth parents. Despite the pleas from everyone, the court ruled that reunification would happen. Two year old Tori died from suspected malnutrition months after being released from foster care to her biological parents. When she died, bruises covered her body, a rib was fractured and blood tests suggested she died thirsty and hungry.
Hearing this story makes me sick to my stomach. Sweet innocent Tori did not have a voice and it is clear that the voice of her foster parents did not count to many. Why must the system fail children? I myself know firsthand that one has to beg and plead for change. It took me 4 full years of awful uncertainty before I was granted my desire to be adopted and to relinquish parental rights and visitation, and then another 2 more years of hell before being legally adopted. Something has to be done within the system to give these children a voice. Tori's life was cut much too short and her fate was in the hands of someone who did not know her and who we can only assume did not care. This has to stop!
Advokids is an amazing resource for foster parents in this position. They give FREE legal advise so cases do not end the way Tori's did. This team of lawyers knows the system from the inside out and they devote their time to giving foster parents a voice through legal interpretation so they can be the voice of the child.
Please click on the links below to view the video of the story on FOX 11 NEWS Los Angeles and visit the Tori's Torch.
Fox 11 Evening Breaking News Coverage on Tori's Story
FOX 11 Morning News LA: Tori's Story
Tori's Torch; Giving Foster Children a Voice