Friday, November 9, 2007

Now and then...

I cried this morning with a mixture of relief and rage over the news from Navigating.
Relief that their daughter Danielle is NOT being removed from their home right now and rage at the lies her social worker and therapist were caught in.

Years ago, back when I had two little kids and had a dayhome and volunteered at our local women's shelter - I had someone phone in a false report to social services about the dangerous state of my house....
fortunately the investigating worker called my supervisor at the dayhome agency first and that wonderful woman, M, managed to convince her that there was nothing wrong and to back it up, M would and did do a surprise visit early the next morning - with her own supervisor, the head of the agency, in tow.

It was embarrassing, I answered the door in my pjs because I had no dayhome kids that day and we were have a seriously do nothing day - and it was horrifying, MY GAWD WHO COULD POSSIBLY WANT TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS? - and it was terrifying.

Mouth drying, heart hammering, blood pounding in my ears, terrifying.

What if, based on this call, an overzealous social worker had come straight to my messy house, found me not even properly clothed and my children with the food stuck to their faces and possibly wet diapers and had taken them away?
Even just for a day?

Taken my children away to who knows where and who knows what?

For the first year we had my two youngest, I lived that fear almost daily. They were in a limbo of not mine but mine, I wasn't even their foster parent or guardian, I was known as and told to fill out legal documents as being their pre-adoptive parent.

I lived in fear of actually having to visit an emergency room with them, all that year. Because that would have meant a phone call to social services and a worker to ask about how they were hurt and why and what if the answers just didn't seem good enough?

My youngest daughter actually gave herself a black eye by running into our front door.

No! Really she did!

And if asked what had happened to her face, with the awful purpling bruise up into her eyebrow, she would stare blankly and say nothing till I prompted her with a "you ran into the door honey, remember?".

Think about how good that sounds.

It doesn't here and it didn't to me, so I can just imagine how badly it could crash it burn in front of a suspicious worker.

It was an awful time and yet, unlike for foster eema, foster abba, and "danielle" most of it was only in my head.

Letting out a shuddering breath.

BTW, I did figure out very quickly who had made the phone call.
Let us just say that the women's shelter was the rather dysfunctional private empire of the executive director and my husband, recently elected to the board of directors, had instigated (as part of the duties that the position legally required of him) the first annual review of the exec. director that had happened in 7 years.
Yes, I am saying that she placed the phone call.
And that is just one of the spiky tips of that ugly iceberg.

Yay to the Navigating family!
I know it's not over yet and I will keep pulling for you.


FosterAbba said...

Thanks so much for all the positive thoughts and good wishes.

This has been a scary week, and I am exhausted. Though we have been given a reprieve, I am still worried.

I thought that getting over this hurdle would make me feel better. It really hasn't.

Granny said...

I never thought I had anything to fear.

I was wrong.