Monday, November 19, 2007

Update

She's definitely coming into care when she gets out of the hospital tomorrow. And the homefinder director (who used to be our social worker before she got promoted to head the unit) has made it so we're back in the system and we will be the ones getting her.

So she'll be coming to us tomorrow. Until at least early next week (with the holiday and all, they don't know when the court hearing will happen).

She is hurt. Her eye is swollen shut and has a hematoma ("she hit her face on a radiator") and she has extensive bruising and chafing all over her thighs and crotch ("they have no explanation for that"). I can't even begin to try and process that.

This is EXACTLY what we didn't want to happen - for her to go home all happy and "fixed", and then come back to us later on totally broken. We thought she was going back to a safe home. We weren't worried for her in that way. We knew her life wouldn't be the same as if she had stayed with us, but it would be a good life.

I feel like we failed her. We should have fought harder for her. I should have known that, if her parents were rough and yelled and her while we were there picking her up or dropping her off, then they must be even worse when we're not there.

But, of course, it's not my fault. It's theirs. I just want to turn back time. I want to give this little Niblet another go at the past year.

I don't want her back. It wouldn't be the best thing for our family - fostermama, Squeak and myself. But it *would* be the best thing for Niblet, so we'll do it if that's what it comes to. Her aunt & uncle have said they want her, so she may very well go to them if they check out. I'm feeling not-so-generous about that, as I'm sure they know more about what was going on with her than we do, but if they really want her and they're appropriate, then so be it. But if we get any inkling that they're NOT good for her, we're lawyering up. We'll fight for her. She deserves it.

11 comments:

Lo said...

This is so, so sad. But I'm glad to hear that you'll fight if need be...

Yondalla said...

Poor, poor Niblet. I'm glad you know that you didn't fail her, even if you feel like you did.

And I'm not sure you should have fought harder. It can be hard to know. It may be you are getting her back so quickly because you were cooperative then.

It is always impossible to know when it is right to fight and when to let go. We just do the best we can.

Amanda said...

I'm so glad you're there for her now. Poor thing.

Maerlowe said...

I'm so sorry this has happened to her and to you. I'm glad you know you did what you could. I'm glad she has you.

Co said...

You had no power or legal standing to fight harder for her, and if you had suspected anything like this, you would've reported it. In a heartbeat. No matter the cost to you. I know how much you love Niblet.

You were her foster parents and the people who knew her best and desperately wanted to adopt her, but that didn't give you power. Indeed, the fact that you wanted to adopt her probably gave you less power at the time decisions were being made. You were not her caseworkers or lawyers or guardians ad-litem or judge or blood kin. All of those people had more power than you. And you had no reason to suspect she was going into an unsafe situation.

And no, the fact that her parents yelled at her in front of you shouldn't have made you suspect that they were doing far worse in your absence. There are cultural differences and it is possible for parents/guardians to yell, spank, have different ideas about discipline or what's acceptable and not put their children in the hospital. It really is. There was no way you could have known. Niblet was unable to tell you. But I'm sure that having you guys in her life helped and that had she been older and able to talk, you two might have been the people in her life whom she would have confided in.

I wouldn't assume that the aunt/uncle who may want to take her knew what was going on either. They may have seen her about as often as you two did, and suspected nothing. Abusive people are often very good at keeping others from knowing what's going on and they enlist the rest of the family in keeping the family secret. That having been said, I don't think you need to feel overly generous toward them. You thought Niblet's dad would take care of her way back when. Given what you and Niblet have been through, I don't see why you'd feel generous toward anyone at this point. If you can't trust that she will be safe with whoever next steps up to the plate, so be it, given what just happened.

My heart really is breaking for Niblet. And for both of you. I am relieved that at least the foster care folks are trying to do what makes sense for now and make sure you two can have her when she comes back into care. Please let us know if we can do anything from afar.

Susan said...

I'm so sorry this happened to Niblet. I am really glad she has a home to come back to now. Right now it seems as though she is so broken, but she can heal and she will. You may be best equipped to help her heal because she knows you are safe. Even though it has been hard doing visits she will start to really be part of the family soon, it will get easier.

Be sure you document everything that happened on that Friday she got hurt. If anyone outside your family saw you interact with her, be sure you document it. Even if it was at the grocery store or something. When dad's attorney finds out you had her for part of the day (six months from now) he may try to point fingers. It will be much easier to remember or find out the name of the clerk, or which friend you went to the park with, etc. now than it will be months from now when dad is trying to weasel out of it.

Tricia said...

We have been in your shoes. There is nothing you could have done. are you her de facto parents? That is something you can do and do now. I'm feeling your anguish.

Tricia said...

I couldn't find an e-mail for you two... These blogs, they're public... You may want to remove the "I don't want her" statement, as well as anything related, you know?. Also, feel free to delete this comment.

Kikilia said...

I'm so sorry this has happened. For all of you.

Niblet, hopefully, will feel safe with you again and it will get easier having her in your family (for however long that may be)

I wouldn't be over generous with her relatives either. Just because they "check out" doesn't mean it's best for her. After all, her father "checked out" too didn't he?

Again- so sorry this happened. Please update as you can.

My thoughts are with you.

Gawdess said...

You have done the right thing.
You are doing the right thing.
take care
you are not alone

Overwhelmed! said...

My heart aches for little Niblet and the pain she's suffered at the hands of those that should love and protect her. I'm offering up a prayer for her now.

We'll probably have to let go of our foster daughter very soon, if extended family checks out. My biggest fear is that she won't be given the love and attention that she deserves once she leaves our house. And yet, as foster parents we're powerless. All I can do is pray for her as well.

Take care!