For first time visitors to this blog, my name is Ann Lamphere, this is my story. I’m the adoptive parent of Kara Kay Lamphere Sansing. I’m also an adoption social worker and have been the director of an adoption agency.
This is “My Adoption Life” story. It is not the fairy tale life I wish I could be spinning. This is my real life experiences with the darker side of living with a traumatized adopted child. These posts are my honest memories of what has turned out to be my life’s work.
You can see previous editions of my posts in the “blog” section of my site. If you would like to be reminded when I publish a new post, please add your email and follow my page.
Less than a month after Kara and Johnny’s wedding, things started to go downhill. IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT. The rain was coming down in torrents. Myra and Herman, my sister and brother-in-law went to bed early and all their lights were off. Myra had left her purse on the kitchen table. The next morning it was gone and the front door was unlocked.
They called the police and reported it missing. It was discovered that whoever took the purse tried to get money out of 2 bank ATMs. They managed to get $200. The question became “How did they get it without a code?” The police were mystified to say the least and so were Myra and Herman.
A couple of weeks later, the next door neighbors of Kara and Johnny reported some thefts from their storage shed. The police asked them who they thought it could be and they pointed out the kids’ apartment. The police confronted them, questioned them and carted Johnny off to jail.
The police questioned Kara and she led them to an open field where they found my sister’s purse. It seems that when Johnny was living with them, he would bring in the mail. He opened the one with the card code and put it away for further use. He also had a key to their house from living there.
On further questioning Kara also confirmed that Johnny was responsible for my parents’ missing license plates. He sold the tags for drug money.
Of course, Kara had to move. The first of many times. Her trustee helped pay the rent and ordered her a washer and dryer, a set that would be replaced many times in the next few years. Patsy, Johnny’s sister moved her into an apartment in the four-plex she lived in.
Johnny was released into the community. He was to be supervised by a person from the Office of Probation and Parole. That person turned out to be my friend Janice who was doing an internship with that office.
When Janice explained that she was a good friend of his mother-in-law and this might be a conflict, they told her that was okay, because they couldn’t get a handle on what he was. Janice followed him for about 3 months and in that time he behaved himself.
Kara had a baby boy in November. She named him Joshua. I worried about him, but I would not go over to their apartment unless Johnny wasn’t home.
At that time, Johnny wasn’t working. They were living on some of her Trust money that she was awarded after being raped in the hospital when she had her first baby (not Johnny’s), Janice kept me up to date on what was happening.
At Christmas we tried to drop off gifts at her door. I could hear the baby crying, but no one was answering the door. I turned the knob and the door opened.
Myra and I went in and found the baby propped up on the couch, but no sign of Kara. While we waited for someone to come home, we took turns loving him and changing his diaper.
After about 15 more minutes, Kara finally returned. I could hardly control my anger. Myra sent me to the car while she tried to explain to her how to care for a baby. Kara said she was visiting a neighbor and had done this many times and the baby was always okay when she returned.
I wanted to turn her in to Child Protective Services, but my sister and mother talked me out of that. Myra told me Kara had promised her not to leave Joshua alone again. I had to take Kara at her word, but I had my doubts.
The next few years will be chronicled in the following blog posts. They will focus on my quest to become a social worker and find my niche as an adoption social worker.
Thanks for reading.