IAAP response to the death of Lavender Banks

This is very difficult to write. Dick and I were notified of Lavender's
death within a couple of weeks after it occurred. We have been communicating
with the police department there since that time, but were told not to discuss
the matter with anyone until charges had been placed. It has been a long, long
period of mourning with no one to share the heartbreak but the two of us. Now
that we are able to talk about it, we are finding it very difficult to do so.
For those who are questioning our decision to place a child with Sabrina; there
was absolutely nothing in her home study that raised any red flags at all. We
are not, of course, going to share any details of her home study with anyone,
but suffice to say it was perfectly fine.

Sabrina had received PA from the CCAA for Lavender. It was not until the CCAA
read her file and discovered she was AfricanAmerican

that she was denied.Yes...this was the reason. Yes...this is the truth. And yes, when she was
finally approved, our SN program there was taken away. But none of that seems
important right now.

All of the children, special needs and nonspecial needs, that we place are so
very dear to us. Those children who are more difficult to adopt find a special
place in our hearts, and remain there. And so it was with Lavender. A beautiful
little one with a sweet spirit. We will never understand what could cause
someone to harm a child. Their child. Any child. But the fact is this happens
every day in families created by birth and through adoption. But this time, it
happened to a child we knew, and loved. Our Lavender. And our hearts are broken.

Cheryl & Dick Graham
IAAP

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