Friday, March 16, 2007


Note: I had this up for a short bit, and took it back into draft land. Felt guilty, so put it back. I'm so angry and heartsick about my niece's and others' situations that I'm not very rational right now.

My niece, God bless her, stands accused of shaking a baby. Not her own baby, mind you, but the baby of a drug-addicted chronic criminal she was caring for while the so-called mother was doing time in prison. For several weeks, my niece spent plenty of time at the doctor's office ensuring that the poor child received adequate medical care and physical therapy. Necessary due to the bio-mother's lack of self restraint while pregnant.

One day late last summer, the baby turned blue and my niece administered CPR after calling 911. The paramedics came and whisked the baby away. Further examination of the baby supposedly revealed bruising on the infant's brain. It is entirely possible the bruising was a result of the CPR, and in my opinion explains the infant's physical injuries. The child was later rushed to a bigger hospital after he developed a massive systemic infection thanks to the medical care he received at the first hospital (too big of a needle that was left in his poor little body for too long). The newspapers were quick to name her and state that the child in her care was rushed to the big fancy hospital out of town (neglecting to mention that it was because of the care received at the first hospital). They also failed to mention that the infant in question has all kinds of problems due to his biological mothers' indiscretions during her pregnancy.

My niece found herself publicly accused and without all three of her children in a matter of moments. In the interests of protecting the innocent, CPS took all three of her kids. Her two school aged daughters and her then 8-month old son. The entire family was fine with that, and I actually felt relieved that the baby's injury was being taken so seriously. I also expected that the investigation would be prompt and courteous, and that my niece's sterling character would shine through.

The case worker for the two girls found that my niece was a fine mother and that any injury received to the baby had to have been the result of an accident. The girls have never had any suspicious injuries and were quite capable of telling their case worker what sort of care they received from their mother. My niece was given free and full access to her daughters back in December.

The case workers for the baby, on the other hand, have exhibited the temperament of a pair of little Napoleans. Despite the fact that they are neither licensed counsellors nor psychologists, they saw fit to tell my niece that she has an explosive temper disorder. This happens to run contrary to what all the psychologists and counsellors have had to say after having visited with her in a clinical setting.

Several family members have been given the okay to care for my grand nephew while his case is decided. My mother-in-law falls in that group. Or at least she did until CPS came by for a surprise visit, and she was out with S.' daycare class to the zoo, taking her great grandson with her. Now the Napoleons have decreed that the baby must go to daycare each day.

I am angry on so very many levels. There has been no evidence of harm done to any of her children. Physical body scans came back completely clean. Her daughters and even jerk of an ex-husband have all confirmed that she has never harmed and would never harm any child. And yet my niece is still forbidden to be alone with her son and must go find someplace else to sleep other than her own home each and every night. This is killing her and is certainly not good for the baby during these early months where bonding is so very critical.

On the bright side, though, the Napoleons think her case should be decided in the next six months or so. (please note the deep and bitter sarcasm)

It angers me that there is such a huge backlog of abuse cases and a larger pile of cases that haven't even been opened. Here we are with what should have been open-and-shut (first caseworker commented on how fabulously cooperative my niece was), and we are 7 months into this agony with no end in sight.

My niece has done all the psychological testing, she has seen and met with all the people she has been assigned, attended every class, her children have all been screened and examined to within an inch of their lives, and yet SHE STILL CANNOT COME HOME AND BE WITH HER BABY.

Meanwhile, in other places, the most revolting people in the known universe are given court-manded free access to their children.

I am sickened at the injustice.



joansy said...

M.W. - Damn. What a horrible situation. I can't imagine what she must be going through. I hope it all gets resolved soon.
Big, big hugs to all of you.

Builder Mama said...

Dang, I read through this a few times yesterday and today. The stupidity of "the system" is simply astonishing to me sometimes. I realize they're trying to do the right thing, but why drag it out so freaking long?

I hope your niece is back with her family soon. Huge hugs to all of y'all.

tj said...

ugh. that's all i have to say. ugh.

Tree said...

I have a stomach ache. This is awful. Beyond words.

Heather said...

Ugh. It seems like when the system doesn't work it fails big time on one side of the equation or the other. They either go way overboard protecting a child or they don't do anything until its too late. Why the heck do they need TWO sets of case workers? I am so sorry for your niece. Positive thoughts to you all.

Mrs. Wheezer said...

The two sets is because her daughters have one father and her son has another (her current husband). This whole thing is heartbreaking...

MPPs Mom said...

my heart breaks about this. I'm baffled and angry thinking about it too. Christina