EDMONTON – A mother of two girls, who is medically unable to care for her daughters full-time, is desperately trying to find them a home.
“They are wonderful,” says Sarah Vibert, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis.
“They’ve made a lot of friends, and now that they have nowhere to go, they’re afraid of being separated. They’re afraid of not having a home.”
Vibert says she’s been her daughters’ primary caregiver since they were born.
She was formally diagnosed with MS in 2008, and suffered a non-traumatic spinal injury that left much of her body paralyzed in 2009.
“I have basically just the use of my right hand.”
She was confined to a wheelchair and placed in a long-term care facility.
“Since being in long-term care, they were with their father,” explains Vibert.
However, in June of 2013, Vibert says her ex-husband left the country, and left the girls – now eight and nine years old – in the care of her friends, “who have been absolutely wonderful in caring for them.”
“They’ve gone above and beyond the call, but they have their own family issues right now that need dealing with.”
However, those friends are no longer able to care for the girls.
“It’s not that they don’t want to, but they’re really unable to care for them any longer,” says Vibert.
Now, she says she’s in an impossible position: find another family or hand over guardianship to the province.
“It upsets me because they are the sweetest little girls and to see them dumped into a foster system that is giving me options of all-or-nothing is unreasonable.”
Vibert is not from Edmonton originally, and doesn’t have any family members who are able to take the girls in. However, she feels the foster system forces her to give up guardianship and would likely limit the amount of time she’d get to spend with her daughters.
“I feel I’m being shoved between the cracks because it’s not a case of abuse,” she explains.
Vibert says she already tried getting support through a number of groups, including legal aid and Catholic Social Services.
“I’m running out of ideas about what to do.”
So, she’s appealing to the public.
“I’m just hoping there’s someone out there looking for two little girls that need a home.”
Ideally, she would like to see them as often as possible and still have some say in things like their education.
“Whether they want to adopt openly or take guardianship, I’m open to a lot of options,” says Vibert. “I just want them to be safe and have the security that they’re not going to be shuffled around constantly.”
She’s even written a blog post about her situation and to ask for help.
The girls are just worried about being separated from one another.
“I think she’s sort of a comfort to me if I get sad,” says the eight-year-old about her older sister.
Just fifteen months apart, Vibert says the girls are rarely separated.
“I just want a really good family that we can live with,” says the older girl.
Her little sister also hopes that family will be able to accommodate some visits with mom.
“That I get to hug her, that I get to cuddle her sometimes… ‘cause no matter what, mama will always love us and we will always see her.”
You can read about the overwhelming response she’s received since Global News first shared her story here.