Friday, March 02, 2007

Cuz I know you're all wondering....

Here's how the visit with Joy's mom went.
Good and bad.

Joy was ecstatic to see her mom. She was smiling, babbling, playing. She'd had a good time at daycare, too, and was just so psyched to be with mom. Her mom said she was even more animated and talkative than she is usually.

Her mom is young, early 20s, and lacking in much common sense. We met at McD's and Joy happily ate a bunch of fries, 2 mcn*ggets and chocolate milk. So maybe if we get her healthy chicken nuggets, she'll eat those? Her mom said she pretty much doesn't worry about what she eats except at dinnertime when she "has to have some real food". She said that Joy liked the Tuna Helper she made one time and that she put green beans in it and she ate them. And that she likes the toddler entrees (she pronounced it "entries") from the supermarket.

My thought is that she likes to eat in social situations. Cuz she ate some at daycare while the other kids were eating. Now, there's nothing particularly wrong with chicken tenders and toddler entrees, except that they're wicked expensive. But we're health nuts. We shop at the food coop, we eat vegetarian, our meals are mostly beans/grains/veggies. We're happy to buy meat for a foster kid if that's what they'll eat, but I'm just not feeding a kid McD's on a regular basis! So hopefully we can find some stuff that isn't very expensive and that she'll eat.

Joy's mom said that she usually lets her stay up until very late at night and then lets her fall asleep in bed with her. So, basically, Joy has never had to fall asleep by herself in her crib. Which is exactly what we had been expecting of her. Which is why she was flipping out and crying so much. I feel really bad about it, but really, if the cw had set up visits or phone calls BEFORE Joy came into care...or even let us talk with the mom the day we got her...then we would have had this information and we could have taken better care of her from the beginning. Last night I stood by her crib for 45 minutes while she got up and down, drank milk, cried, relaxed, cried, and then finally fell asleep. It wasn't too bad.

But the last straw? Bruises.
Yep. Joy's mom went to change her diaper in the well-lit bathroom and came back to get me and show me these pretty big, really weird bruises on the sides of her legs.
Did I freak out? Yes. But not outwardly. All I was thinking was, well, there goes our foster care career, down the drain due to unexplainable bruising. The mom said she wasn't blaming us, but that they were weird and "if it were me, I'd take her to the doctor". (Um, it's your kid.)

I know she didn't have them when we got her, because I gave her a good once-over. But I had no idea where she got them. To make a long, stressful story short, I did eventually figure it out.

Seems that, while she was crying in her crib, she was trying to climb out and kept getting her legs through the bars of the crib. Her thighs aren't quite thin enough to slip through easily, so she'd get up to her thigh and then pull her leg out. and then try the other leg. We never knew she was doing this, because whenever we'd go in to give her another hug and lay her back down, she wasn't doing it. While I was with her last night, she did it a few times while she was trying to get me to take her out.

So, of course, we called her mom to let her know. We called the case worker to let her know, and to ask if we should still bring Joy to the doctor, and we emailed our social worker so that she's in the loop in case the cw freaks out anyway and says we are bad foster parents.

Those bruises are physical evidence of how f'ed up the system is. If they didn't have their 3-step plan for creating RAD, this child would not have these bruises.


Julie said...

A little info goes a LONG WAY!!! When will case workers learn??????? argh!

FosterMommy said...

Yeah, and they'll NEVER take responsibility for that.

Now the cw is all pissed and saying "how could you not have seen the bruises" (um, cuz they're not very dark and our baby room doesn't get the best light) and she's going to daycare to photograph them. and she made a dr's appt w/o asking us about the time. If this blows out of proportion, I swear I'm going to flip my lid and go off on her.

Renee, said...

This age is just hard in general. R was 11months when he was placed with me and started walking right after his first birthday. Well he was *learning* to walk so he fell a lot, one day after a visit CW comes in and says we have a "problem" that may need to be "investigated" R had a pretty yucky looking bruise on his rib cage(and I hadnt noticed it yet) and his mom found it and she DEMANDED I put into writing exactly how it happen right then and there! Im like yah, he must have fallen on some toys--CW is like so your assuming thats what happen? dont you watch him to know what happen? HELLO he was found at 2am chewing on a crack pipe and yet this CW took moms side and they both demanded I justify my lack of supervision if I couldnt say how the bruise happen--Needless to say I was ready to hang my hat right then. It blew over, just in time for the next visit. As CW pulled into my driveway R ripped his bib off and the velcro gave him the NASTIEST scrape all across his neck and face, I swore Id never again take a baby that age, lol!
You know even if you knew she was used to co-sleeping its not like you could have done so with her, if you would have and they found out youd get "in trouble" for that because you put her in a crib and she bruised herself on the crib rails your at fault. Sometimes what we go through as fosterparents is so unfair. My thoughts are with you, I hope this blows over soon.