Small Voices Silenced: The Secret Society of Sacrificed Children


Darryl and Sherrie Clark had never intended to become foster parents; they didn't think they could handle becoming attached to a child and then having to give her back. But they took a chance with their hearts and became foster-to adopt parents. Their lives changed forever.

• *

They couldn't be happier when they learn they'll be adopting the two little girls they had been fostering. Then unexpectedly, everything changes.

The Clarks race ...

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Small Voices Silenced: The Secret Society of Sacrificed Children

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Darryl and Sherrie Clark had never intended to become foster parents; they didn't think they could handle becoming attached to a child and then having to give her back. But they took a chance with their hearts and became foster-to adopt parents. Their lives changed forever.

• *

They couldn't be happier when they learn they'll be adopting the two little girls they had been fostering. Then unexpectedly, everything changes.

The Clarks race against time to save their foster children, who are "positioned" to become sacrificial lambs. They're surprised to discover how the system silences the voices of the foster children. But it doesn't stop there. When they struggle to expose the deceit, manipulation, and corruption occurring within this powerful establishment, it silences their voices as well.

In Small Voices Silenced, author Sherrie Clark reveals her family's experiences after being inducted into this secret society where even some of its members are unaware of its existence. She shares her suspenseful journey into this unique world where laws designed to protect children are twisted, leading to further victimization of these same children.

When this appalling practice is applied to their small foster girls, it shakes Darryl's and Sherrie's faith to the very core. Then they're given a second chance.
But will it lead to another heartbreak, or will it be an answer to prayer?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781475949483
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/19/2012
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

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The Secret Society of Sacrificed Children
By Sherrie Clark

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Sherrie Clark
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-4946-9

Chapter One

Lost and Found

The cries are what first catch my attention, their release from muted lungs telling me that their source is a young baby.

And they continue and continue.

I hear no other sound, no cooing by another to calm the infant. I feel drawn to find it, to see the cause behind this relentless wailing. I leave my cart by the eggs and start my search.

Each aisle, outlined by tan metal shelves full of grocery products, is void of life. The only movement I see is a dust ball scurrying along the gray linoleum floor. Where did everyone go?

And then I come to aisle nine where I see a lone, metal grocery cart parked in its middle. The cries are definitely coming from it. There's still no one else in sight. Walking over to it, the cries become louder. It's empty except for a pink blanket covering what looks like a large mound in its wire basket.

I look around again, and still I can't see anyone. Is this a joke? What's really under the blanket? Is there a camera waiting to capture my surprised expression when I uncover something totally unexpected?

The cries are becoming ear-piercing, so I jerk the blanket away. Lo and behold, strapped in a dark-blue infant car seat carrier is the most beautiful baby with blond hair and blue eyes. She's wearing a pink dress and pink booties.

Why is she here? Why is she alone? Where is her mother?

I take the liberty of picking her up in hopes of calming down her screams. She succumbs to my rocking her back and forth in my arms. Her eyes close, and her breathing becomes steady and even.

I walk around the store with her, looking for her mother, uncle, big brother, or whoever it is that brought her here. Perhaps someone walked away from this baby to fetch a forgotten product and is still searching for it. But I still don't see anyone.

The only other person in the store is the young checkout clerk with purple and black hair and an eyebrow ring. She's sitting in a chair by a cash register, blowing bubbles with her gum while reading a magazine with a motorcycle on its cover. I ask her if she knows whose baby this is.

Without taking her eyes off the magazine, she gives me an abrupt, "No," and then blows another bubble.

I look around, trying to decide what to do next. I look outside and notice that it's dark, but I have no idea what time it is. I have no watch. I don't see any clocks around.

"Can I use your phone to call the police?" I ask the clerk.

"Don't have one," she says, eyes still fixed on the pages before her. She blows another bubble.

"Okay. I'm taking the baby with me to get help."

The clerk offers no response. I go and get the infant car seat and leave the store with the baby.

I find my car. I buckle her in the backseat, and we start the drive home. It's so, so dark outside; it must be later than I thought. I need to get home. I figure I'll just take the baby to my house and call the police from there.

I find myself driving down an unfamiliar two-lane highway that looks more like a paved pathway through dense woods, yet I sense that I'm on the right road. It's so dark, without even one star in the sky. The shroud of thick fog forces me to keep my headlights on low beams.

If not for my slow driving, I might not have noticed the little girl standing alone on the side of the road. Even with the reduced visibility, I can tell there's no one else around. I see no cars parked, no cars behind me, none in front of me, and no oncoming traffic; I see only a thick mass of trees. I can't drive by and leave her there any more than I could have left the baby in that grocery store all by herself.

I pull over and get out. She appears to be around four or five years old, and she looks scared.

"Where's your mommy?" She gives no answer. I try asking again. There's still no answer.

I have to get home; I have to call the police for the baby, but I can't leave this little girl here alone.

"Are you okay coming with me?" I ask her. "I can take you to my house, and we'll see if we can find out where your mommy and daddy are." She follows me to my car and climbs inside without prodding.

This has been a very strange day.

The exact details of what happens next are a big blur. For some reason, both girls end up staying with me for a longer period of time than planned.

Despite the differences in appearance—the baby's fair-colored hair and skin in contrast to the older child's olive skin and dark hair—the two girls are both very loving and affectionate. We have fun doing girly things like playing dress-up, wearing jewelry, and painting each other's nails. Even though the baby is too young to walk or even stand, she joins in the festivities with her smiles and squeals. I hold her while the three of us silly-dance, and we all laugh.

They're everything I ever wanted in a daughter. I find myself loving them with utter abandonment and without hesitation. I'm so very happy. My world's complete.

Then from nowhere in particular, a voice speaks, gentle yet strong, resonating like surround sound throughout the room: "But they're not yours."

I see no one, yet I'm not startled, nor am I surprised. Intuitively, I know who spoke. "Yes, Lord." I become defensive. "But I love them so much."

The voice responds ever so softly, in the same tone an adult uses to reason with a child. "But they belong to someone else. These girls have parents who love them, who've been searching for them and want them back."

Deep inside, I know he's right, but I sure don't want to hear this. I can say nothing.

The voice continues, "I won't tell you what to do, but you know what you have to do."

I do. I walk over to the phone and finally make that call to the police to report finding these two little girls.

Before long, the two families come and get them. It's over; they're gone forever.

The realization causes me to collapse on the floor, roll myself in a fetal position, and cry and groan like a seriously wounded animal. Oh, I don't think I can bear the pain of the loss.

And then the Lord speaks again. His voice is like velvet, each word applying a soothing balm on my newly open wounds and caressing my very being from the inside. His love is undeniable, and I can feel its warmth even through my grief. "I'm proud of you. You did the right thing, even though I know that was the hardest thing you've ever done. I know you love those little girls like they were your own. And because you were obedient in doing what was right in spite of the sacrifice, I'm going to bless you doubly."

And then I wake up.

I sit up in bed and look out into the dark. Touching my face with my fingertips, I feel my cheeks, still wet from the tears.

That was some dream. Even though it felt so real, I'm relieved to learn that it was only a dream.

For if I ever had to suffer through that kind of intense loss and pain in my waking hours, I truly believe I would not survive.

Chapter Two

The Call

"Mrs. Clark? This is Nancy at Placement. We have a two-day-old baby girl that we need to place. Will you take her into your home?"

I was silent.

I held my cell phone to my ear. My face became hot when I remembered that Placement was the division that placed foster children in foster homes.

Was this really the call?

For the past several months, we had dreamed of getting a call like this many times over while sprinting through each and every hoop required to become licensed foster parents. Then, after learning thirteen days ago that we had finally been approved by the state, my husband Darryl and I jumped every time the phone rang. With thirty-two children entering our local foster-care system every week, we were sure we would have been called long before now.

Logic overcame skepticism when the idea hit me that this call could be the call. It made sense that it would eventually come.

As I sat in the dimly lit restaurant, the pounding of my heart was joined by a temporary paralysis that engulfed my entire body. I could only stare straight ahead at the shellacked blue-and-gray swordfish hanging on the dark-brown wood-paneled walls. Then I realized that I hadn't said anything to this person on the phone named Nancy, not even so much as a grunt.

After coming to terms with the reality that this was the call, I then became conscious of the fact that she wanted us to take a brand-new baby girl. I had given birth only to boys—four to be exact. Paralysis turned into a tingling sensation, like fingers palpating their way from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.

I looked across the table at my oldest son Devlin. Today was his birthday, and he had asked me to take him to this small seafood restaurant for a birthday lunch. The food tasted delicious in spite of the establishment's outdated interior design. The multicolored indoor-outdoor carpet had seen better days, and the red-vinyl-covered booth bench had been worn down to the point of feeling comfortable.

Devlin held his menu opened in front of his face, engrossed in its appetizing contents. He was oblivious to me, my phone call, and the possibility that life as we now knew it might very well change forever.

The first words formed by my lips were, "Wow! Well, that came out of nowhere. Do they actually come that small?" I didn't know foster children went into the system at such a young age.

Nancy chuckled. "Yes, ma'am, they sure do, and all the time."

Different thoughts hit me all at once. I knew I needed to give her an answer, and the mother in me wanted to tell her yes. But I needed to talk with Darryl to see if he was okay with having such a young baby at this time of our lives. We had never discussed the possibility that our foster child would be a newborn; it had never crossed our minds.

I was afraid to ask Nancy to let me call her back. What if she found a family who would agree to take this baby, and agree to take her NOW?

A deep breath of air filled my lungs before I forced myself to say, "I need to speak with my husband first." I couldn't believe I'd managed to articulate those words. What if he said no? Finally, that long-awaited phone call had occurred, but would it be for naught?

"Yes ma'am, Mrs. Clark. I've already spoken with your husband. That's how I got your cell phone number. He told me to call you."

Oh my! I reasoned to myself, albeit on an illogical level, that if Darryl had her call me, he would be in agreement with my answer, right? Wasn't that a demonstration of his trust in my judgment? Who could say no to taking in a brand-new baby girl? My excitement and anxiousness increased with each millisecond.

I didn't want to ask the next question but knew I had no other choice. Darryl deserved a vote in this huge decision. We had discussed adopting a child for the past five years. Researching options had led us to decide to adopt through the foster-care system because so many foster children needed a permanent home. We had just expected that foster child to be somewhat older.

"What did my husband say?" I asked, barely able to get the words out of my dry mouth. I took a quick sip of water while my ankles tightened their grip around each other under the table. I wasn't quite sure I wanted to hear the answer.

"He said it was up to you."

I couldn't believe I remained in my seat and didn't move. "Then ... he won't mind if I say yes, will he?"

"No, ma'am, Mrs. Clark. I don't think he will," Nancy said with another chuckle.

"Then yes! Yes!" I blurted out with unsuppressed joy.

I now had everyone's attention in the restaurant. Their initial looks of shock and annoyance were replaced by smiles. They must have assumed I had accepted a marriage proposal over my cell phone. My son's attention jerked from the menu and onto me. Eyebrows raised, he mouthed the words, "What's going on?"

With a huge grin on my face, I held up my right index finger to signal that I'd explain in a moment. He accepted the delay, but not without squirming.

"Thank you, Mrs. Clark. I need to tell you that the baby is still at the hospital. I don't know if you'll have to pick her up there or if she'll be brought to your home. You'll have to discuss that with the Child Protective Investigator from the Department of Children and Families. I'll have him call you right away. Is this a good number where he can reach you?"

"Yes. Yes, it is. Please have him call me on this number," I almost begged.

After hanging up with Nancy, I kept the phone to my ear and allowed myself to daydream. I loved my four sons, but images of holding a tiny infant wrapped in a pink blanket put a smile on my face, one bigger than the grin I wore after my first kiss. I saw a baby girl full of innocence.

Devlin leaned forward. "What just happened?"

"Devlin, we're getting a two-day-old baby girl!"

He smiled from ear to ear. "Wow! Really? Are you serious, Mom? This is the best birthday gift I ever got."

I had considered that as well. What a wonderful gift to be given on your birthday—a brand-new life. This was one birthday I knew he'd always remember. I knew I would remember this day.

"When?" he asked.

I shrugged. "I don't know. I've gotta wait for the Department of Children and Families investigator to call me. I've never done this before. I don't know what the process is." His questions were the same questions I had.

"Why do they have investigators?"

I did know the answer to that question. My eyes met Devlin's eyes. "They investigate reports of abuse or neglect of children. Sometimes they have to take the child out of the home and place her in foster care. This is where we as a foster family come in. I guess here, someone from the hospital must have called the Department of Children and Families, or DCF, regarding this baby." I leaned my upper body toward Devlin. "I need to call home before the investigator calls me."

Sure that my husband would be just as ecstatic, I dialed our number. Darryl answered the phone after the fifth ring.

"Hi, honey," I said. I felt as if I were about to tell him that I had a positive pregnancy test. "I just got a call from Placement. You've already spoken to her, right?"

Waiting to hear his excitement, I was amazed at how composed he sounded.

"Yeah, about that phone call. We need to talk about it. This is a newborn baby. We never talked about that possibility."

It was like he had thrown a bucket of cold water on me, jolting me out of a beautiful dream. I now had to consider that it may have been just that—a beautiful dream.

Swallowing became difficult. "Nancy from Placement said she already told you about it. Didn't you tell her that it was up to me?"

"Yeah, I know. She called at a bad time, and I couldn't really talk with her. The dog got loose at the same time Micah fell and scraped his elbow. I guess telling her to call you was a knee-jerk reaction. I just needed to get off the phone at that time."

I envisioned the drama occurring at home and his trying so hard to multitask through both incidents simultaneously. Had my presumption led me to conspire with Nancy in an effort to justify my own desires?

I didn't know what to say.

The disapproval in his voice couldn't be overlooked. "Sherrie, you did tell her we'd get back to her, didn't you? Did you at least tell her you'd call her after we discussed it?"

I felt like a little child who had been scolded. My face became hot as the heat from some internal furnace rushed to it, and a knot formed in the pit of my stomach. I didn't want to answer his question, yet he had a right to know.

"I am so sorry. I felt you had left the decision up to me, so I told her we'd take her. I don't know if it's too late to change our minds. DCF's going to call me any minute." The grip on my phone tightened.

There was a silence ... a long silence, or was time merely teasing me by ticking by ever so slowly? What would I tell Nancy? We had waited so long for this call, and turning away this baby would be difficult.

Finally, he spoke six simple words: "Okay. When do we get her?" He was such a good man.

Feeling like air had suddenly been restored to me, I took in a big gulp of it. I thanked my husband. I told him that I still didn't know any of the details, but I'd call him when I did.

As soon as we finished our call, my cell phone rang. The caller introduced himself as Mr. Berg, the DCF investigator. We decided to meet at the hospital first thing in the morning to pick up the baby.

I tried to hide my sigh of relief. Unbeknownst to him, we didn't have anything for a baby: no crib, no diapers, and not even a car seat to bring her home.

Hanging up, I looked over at Devlin with a smile. "Devlin, how would you like to do some shopping on your birthday? You can help me pick out some stuff we're going to need for a brand-new baby girl."

He grinned. "Let's do it."


Excerpted from SMALL VOICES SILENCED by Sherrie Clark Copyright © 2012 by Sherrie Clark. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Chapter One: Lost and Found....................1
Chapter Two: The Call....................5
Chapter Three: Down the Rabbit Hole....................21
Chapter Four: Once Was Not Enough....................46
Chapter Five: Rules of Engagement....................71
Chapter Six: Falling through the Cracks....................98
Chapter Seven: Is Anybody Listening?....................124
Chapter Eight: Preparing Lambs for Slaughter....................151
Chapter Nine: The Shattering of Our World....................176
Chapter Ten: Coming Out of the Pit....................195
Chapter Eleven: Through a Tiny Baby Girl....................216
A Conclusion The Beauty from My Ashes....................239
About the Author....................243
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