A foster mom in Ohio is now the adoptive mother of two children who were born addicted to heroin after winning a battle in a Cincinnati probate court.
Janet Siemer had been fostering Landon and Mikayla for two years, WKRC reported.
“It’s another beautiful day in probate court,” Judge Ralph Winkler said after the verdict was read.
— Jeff Hirsh (@local12jeff) September 11, 2017
Although they show little signs of it now, Siemer said both her adopted children were born addicted to heroin, and the signs were immediate.
After he was born, Landon had to spend seven weeks in the hospital while he withdrew from the heroin, Siemer said. Once she was finally able to take him home, Landon’s health problems continued.
“He had all the symptoms. The diarrhea. The vomiting. The sensitivity to light. So it was quite a challenge the first three nights. He would wake up screaming. I’d comfort him and he’s fall asleep for five minutes. And then he’d wake up again. After the first night I thought oh my gosh, what am I getting myself into,” said Janet.
A few months later, Siemer took in Makayla, who was also born addicted to heroin, but was in better condition at birth.
Although the goal of the court system is to ultimately reunite foster children with their biological parents, Landon and Makayla were permanently taken away from their troubled families.
The heroin epidemic in the Greater Cincinnati area continues to grow, and it shows in the amount of children entering foster care.
“I’ve been in this field 14 years and this is something we’ve never seen. In fact, we expected it to take a different turn, almost a decline in foster care, but now the numbers continue to rise daily,” Jessica Parks of the Necco Foster Care Agency told WKRC.
Siemer, who works as a nurse, said she adopted the children to do her part in the fight against the opioid epidemic plaguing the nation.
“The reason I became a foster parent is I saw every day how heroin affects families and there were children in need of foster care,” said Janet. “But also because I love children, so why not?”
Landon and Mikayla are now healthy and happy toddlers, Siemer said.