Thursday, January 3, 2008

News, and Relief

JP finally got hold of our investigator around 6pm (I tried to write this post then, but Landon was NOT amused by my inattention). Apparently she just needed JP's statement that he had tossed Landon because her notes only had me saying it. Since this is what they've pinned the entire neglect finding upon, they needed the story to come from him. Never mind that it was in the orthopedist's report and the hospital social worker's interview notes, and that there is no possible way that action could break the ribs of a normal baby, and the whole finding is bullshit... but that's what it was. JP was IMing me during the phone call and in response to my typing "WHAT IS GOING ON?" about 10 times he wrote, "there is no change. the supervisor will sign off and we'll get the notice in 2-3 weeks." I expressed my relief and he said, "it's still slowly dying. when we get the letter she said to give it to [our lawyer] and appeal." He got the impression she's still irritated that this is how it ended and thinks our chances at appeal are quite strong. So after another night of DCFS-induced worry, hopefully our last, it was nothing.

I hate the emotional wreck of a person this investigation has made me. I am normally a calm, practical, and emotionally stable person who is successful at focusing on the realistic and positive in any situation. But I was a mess while waiting for JP to tell me the result of that call- and then once he told me I started crying. Like out-loud, tears streaming down my face crying. I never cry! I was just so relieved it wasn't anything worse- even though the rational part of my brain (what's left of it) knew it didn't make any sense for the finding to change at this point. It's just that I got a hint of those feelings of fear and helplessness while someone else makes a decision that affects your entire world again, and it terrified me. Once I was done crying and hugging a mildly perplexed Landon, I wiped off my cheeks, got out some squash puree, and fed the little guy his dinner.

Back to normal.


  1. Oh whew. I was hoping hoping hoping it was something minor like this! (Not that it's at all acceptable that they've even indicated JP, but at least you know you can beat it.)

  2. YAY!!! back to normal. YAY!!!

  3. Your reaction was totally and completely normal -- the reaction of the wrongly accused. I would have done the exact same thing. [Except maybe the squash puree -- I've been feeding Peach peas recently. :)]

  4. Oh what a relief! Its still stupid that they are indicating JP, but at least there is nothing else going on. I doubt that there is a mother among us that wouldn't have broken into tears at the end of that exchange.

    Here's hoping for more entries on Landon and lawschool :p

  5. ...yaaaay!!...


  6. Thank god.
    I am angry all over again that you had to go through so much anxiety for this.

  7. Hopefully, he didn't acknowledge anything without conferring with
    your attorney. Especially, since the investigation is evidently not concluded, which means the finding can still be changed. The caseworker could unfound it--especially since blatant disregard is clearly not present.
    Or she could indicate for abuse, not neglect.

    Just as we are not required to speak with the police, we are not required to speak with DCFS employees, although an amazing number of people do both. Some people only speak with investigators through their attorneys or with their attorneys present, in person or by telecon.
    This is the best approach.

    It sounds as if this is just a sloppy investigation and somebody
    is tying up the loose ends because they know it will be appealed. When the appeal does take place, you should present any and all contemporaneous documention that the investigator encouraged you to appeal it and any other ways that she indicated having little confidence in the finding. This would go towards establishing that the preponderance standard is not met. It also raises an issue of bad faith on the part of the Department--founding a report although they don't have confidence in the evidence--although they can always use the defense that the investigative standard is credible
    not preponderance. Bad faith is hard to prove up, although this finding, as described, seems as close as any I've seen. And bad faith is a basis for a lawsuit.

  8. Hooray for good news!

    Of COURSE you are going to be an emotional hot mess with all this! It's like DFCS abused *you* and you are having PTSD about it.


    Normal feels nice, doesn't it?

  9. I'm so glad it was nothing worse. It still sucks for JP but at least they aren't throwing any new curve balls at you. Hopefully you will get the letter soon so you can start the appeals process.

  10. Oh, what a huge relief! I'm sure there isn't a mother out there who would react the same way you have. I admire the way you have been able to be so strong for Landon through everything!

    (Plus even in the best of circumstances having a child turns the most levelheaded, rational woman into an emotional mess much of the time!)

  11. I'm no therapist, but I'd say that even though it frustrates you that you cried, it was probably a great release for you. I hope you're still seeing a professional and if you're not, that person gave you some coping mechanisms. IMHO it is better to let it out than stuff it.

    I'm glad you didn't get bad news and hope for the best when you appeal.

  12. whew!

    I would've been crying months ago and crying with that cryptic message from the investigator.

    Hopefully the appeal process is smoother.

  13. Amazing what having kids does to you. Especially when they're in trouble. I've cried more during the past week or so than I have in the past five years.

    So glad it was nothing bad, what a relief. I was worried all day yesterday too!!

  14. Thank God. What a horrible stressor for you all. :(

  15. I am so relieved. You have been through so much with all of this, you certainly deserve some good news for once.