See what CafeMoms are saying about saving time this holiday season..
Wanted to share this with you guys. It's long, but it's 2 seperate times and almost 3 years of events. Please don't judge, I am not putting this out for that to happen. Please don't be rude either. Thanks!
Before I start this story I want to say this: Every since my daughter the oldest one was 9 months old, we have had trouble getting her to eat enough and for her to gain maintain weight. We have tried 3 different pediatricians to try and help us get our child's weight on track. Our middle daughter started down the same path. All 3 doctors had one line that they said in common" She's fine, it's a phase and she will grow out of it. If you are that worried add some more fat to her diet, give her lots of Ice cream, add more butter to her foods, milkshakes". On a mission to try and help our daughter, we tried just that. She gained weight, then would lose it, then gain, then lose and so on and so forth. We had spoken to a several nutrients at the WIC office. Every visit we had with them expressing our concern about her eating habits, and her lack of weight gain and so on. They suggested putting her on Pediasure, but we needed a script for it to be covered by WIC. I know you can buy it in the store for 9.00 / pack. But if I need WIC, I'm going to get the script through the WIC office. Every doctor’s visit for either child we brought our concerns up, the doctors kept telling us the same thing. Now saying that, I can start the story....
In October 2009, the nightmare with Lehigh County Children and Youth started. We took our 3-year-old daughter to the ER. Our daughter was moving her jaw oddly and had some bruising on her neck, after she had fallen out of her 1-year-old sister's crib the day before. The ER staff looked at my daughter; we were questioned about what happened. They drew blood from her, asked her what happened. My husband and I were waiting for the ER staff to do something her jaw moving oddly. The ER doctor came back to us stating that her jaw looked fine, and she was not moving it oddly anymore. The ER doctor said that her weight was a concern also. She was not appropriately on the growth chart and was a little underweight for her age. They diagnosed her in the hospital with Failure to Thrive, Failure to thrive refers to children whose current weight or rate of weight gain is significantly lower than that of other children of similar age and gender. but NOT our 1-year-old daughter. They were concerned about the bruising around her neck, and called Children and Youth (by protocol had to) and told us that someone from the agency would be here to talk to us.
Children and Youth workers came to the hospital after they admitted my 2 daughters in the hospital for observation. They took pictures, interrogated us, had us fill out paperwork and told us that we had to have supervised while we were around our children, due to the nature of what brought us to the ER. This came as a shock, neither my husband and I knew what to say, we were all shaken up by all of this and concerned for the well being of our kids. As the next few days came, the local police interrogated us, by Children and Youth some more. Both my husband and I thought seeking council at this point was necessary. We sought out legal advice about this situation and hired an attorney to help us fight this battle that was just beginning of an almost 2 year battle with Children and Youth.
Come to find out that the only option we had since we could not be alone with our children, the only option we had was to have our two daughters live with their paternal grandparents until we could resolve this issue. My Mother and Father in law lived 5-6 hours away from us in a different state. It was the hardest decision that my husband and I had to make. But, it was what was best for girls at the present time; never did I know that they would be with them for 7 and 1/2 months.
With the girls with my in laws, we did whatever we needed to do, to be reunified with our kids again. The status of the Children and Youth cause was "indicated". We had a Justice Works program in our house we took parenting classes. Another thing we did was do weekly trips with my mom and Aunt half way to Rhode Island and get the kids, bring them back for the weekend and the kids would Sunday afternoon go back with my in-laws. We did this trip every weekend for 4 weeks. After doing that, the kids came back to live with us. My husband and I had asked for help with getting our 3 year old daughter to stop refusing to eat. Our daughter would eat a little, then would stop and refuse to finish her food.
A visiting nurse from St. Luke's VNAC program came in and was working with us on ways to make eating for her a little more fun. At the beginning, she was helpful, but then as time went by would become rude, offensive and had questionable behavior when in our home with our kids. We called up the program and asked or another nurse. After several talks with Children and Youth, and the nurse’s boss, we finally got another nurse to come in. Again, here she was nice and helpful in the beginning, but quickly became bossy and unwilling to hear our concerns and help our family out. Now this service was not being court ordered so after a situation happened where the visiting nurse told my child to tell me I was a bad mom, I threw her out or I was calling the cops. Now, not just this caused me to say this, but other events that had happened prior to that did. I had enough. We went to court over the indicated status, the judge who was presiding over this case said that " Failure to Thrive was NOT abuse", in this case. The Judge had overturned Children and Youths indicated status on us to unfounded, and had ordered for Children and Youth to leave us alone. After that, they of course appealed the judges decision and send the case to Superior court, with a verdict of unfounded and 3 Superior court judges agreed with a high court judges decision.
I thought this was the end of this situation but was I ever wrong....
By The 2nd time Children and Youth came back, we have a 3rd child a boy. What happened this time to have Children and Youth involved this time was we missed a doctor’s appointment for the kids and they could not gain and maintain their weight. I had called 2 days before the doctor’s appointment and cancelled and told the staff why I was canceling and I would call the next week to reschedule once I knew what the week was going to look like for us. I was told ok by the staff. The next week on Monday May 21st at 12 noon, I get a knock on our door. 2 Children and Youth workers were at my door. They asked to see the kids because they had gotten a call stating that the kids were " Failure to Thrive". Now, my now middle child was giving us the same trouble as our oldest daughter with eating and was now diagnosed with Failure to Thrive. I asked the two ladies at the door if I could see there work badges, they did not have them on them, they were in the car. I asked them to get them, they did after a couple more times of me asking.
They asked to see the kids, now last time we have dealt with them, they came in looked around and made false allegations about our house. Last time was a nightmare. I had done some reading, come to find out you can ask them to come back with a search warrant. We told them to come back when they had one. I have nothing to hide, but the last time they tried to pull a lot of fast ones after they came into the house.
They came back May 22nd with 2 cops and a "search warrant". They took pictures of the kids, asked my husband and I question and asked our kids too. We told them we wanted council present when questioning our kids because they were only 5 and 3 years old. They refused and questioned them anyway. After that, they looked around the house, put a service plan in place stating that the kids had to have seen a doctor by the 25th of May. After they had left at 1:30, I called there doctor and scheduled the kids appointment for Friday May 25th @ 3pm.
May 23rd at 6pm, I get a knock on our door, with 2 cops and a children and Youth worker. My husband had just come home from running to get diapers and dinner (pizza). We were just about to sit down from dinner when they came. The CPS worker shoved in our faces an Emergency custody order and told me that the kids were coming with them and there was a hearing in from of a master the next day. I was in shocked, I had done what they wanted on the Service plan and they were coming to take away all 3 kids. They were scared as anything. My oldest daughter turned to me and said" I'm not leaving, mommy is crying". I picked her up and said" Go with them, mommy and daddy need figure this out and get you as soon as we can, I love you". My two other children were very upset and clinging on to my husband and I.
The next day, we went in front of the master, she sided with Children and Youth stating the kids will stay in foster care, but we would be visit with the kids.
We have visitation with the kids for 1 hour, 1 day a week up in Topton, PA. After seeing them for 1 month, we as parents grew very concerned about the children’s lack of weight gain, and mental status during the time. We went to our Lawyer with a proposition for Children and Youth. We would agree with the Adjudication of the kids, in exchange for an interstate compact to be done so that the kids could go live with my mother and father in law again, since it worked out last time. They wanted us to plead guilty to abuse with a founded status then they would agree. We went to court to battle this out. The judge was very unfair, would not listen to what we had to say or our concerns for the kids or anything we stated. Children and Youth lied at every chance they could get. From how much my kids ate while in their care, to what my 5-year-old daughter stated or did not say in this case. She ruled " an indicated status with an order the interstate compact would be expedited". Indicated cases are those where a county agency or regional staff has found abuse has occurred based on medical evidence, a child protective service investigation or an admission by the perpetrator. It’s indicated, because of “medical neglect”, which is 100& false. My husband and our families and even our attorney believe that judge had made up her mind from the beginning, therefore sided with Children and Youth services.
Currently, we are waiting for Children and Youth to send the paperwork to Rhode Island Children and Youth. Their things that need to happen before the kids can go to live with their grandparents until we can get them back. Before this 2nd round of Children and Youth, my husband and kids and I were starting a move to Rhode Island. We are still planning on moving it's just a lot harder with the case jurisdiction still in PA. In this time, we will be doing all we can, appeal the judges indicated status. Staying strong for our 3 beautiful children and visiting them 1 time a week for 1 hour. There is a clinic that has a location In Boston, Mass, and in Philly, PA that specializes in Children who have Non Organic Failure to Thrive my husband and I are pushing to get the kids into. To help our kids get back on track with their weights and help them maintain it. Children and Youth refuse to have the kids go to the growth clinic. The clinic is affiliated through St. Christopher’s hospital. This clinic is willing to help us help our kids in this matter. We will as parents we will be pushing for this clinic.
I am writing this not for anyone to feel sorry for my kids or my husband and I. Through this whole mess, I've been asked how are you feeling through this. I've responded with its not my feelings I'm worried about or you should bee worried about, it's the 3 kid’s emotions you should be worried about. I'm not worried about me, but those kids who are sitting there wondering what's going on, why are they not with mommy and daddy that people should be worried about. They are with 100% strangers and not with family. That's why the kids are going to be with there grandparents and not in foster care. We have the option to have them with family; it's what's best for them if they can't be with us right now. But, to show what this agency is capable of and how there forces is not to help in anyway; it's to break up families who don't deserve it. Granted, there are some cases that call for action, but not ALL cases are like that, there is too much assumption and not enough facts that lead them to horrible decisions. If you are being treated like this, there is something you can do; it's not a hopeless situation. Fight back, you and your children deserve it. If you know someone who is going through this, tell him or her this same thing and tell them to read this story. Might give them the courage and hope that they need to help them fight back and not give up hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel.