Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Background: Monday's Events

[an email I sent out to family last night]

Our attorney met with the ASA this morning. She found our NICU pictures (especially the one showing bruising at the ribs, under the armpit), medical articles, and testimony from Dr. B (the pediatric orthopedist) quite interesting. She wants us to show it to our DCFS investigator tomorrow morning before she approaches the ASA office so we don't ambush her in the hearing and she can include our information in her report. Then our investigator will approach the ASA and she'll decide to accept the case. I'm trying not to hope very much- any hope so far in this nightmare has been smashed into tiny pieces- but in some secret place I'm daring to think this case might not even make it to the judge. There's a million variations that could occur- this is such a unique set of facts and circumstances to come in front of a juvenile court judge. As I said yesterday, the only thing I'm hoping for is that Landon will be out of the foster care system. I will cry tears of absolute joy at that decision- ridiculous as it still may be.

This afternoon we met Dr. B for the first time. He's one of the only doctors out there willing to look at rib fractures and consider other causes besides abuse. He looked at Landon's NICU records, the x-rays taken after he was born, and our pictures. The first NICU x-ray was taken only 1 hour after he was born and is therefore too early to show anything, but the one taken about 20 hours later had something on the 7th rib on the right side (one of the ones broken)- it would be almost impossible to get any more info out of it though. He did confirm (in a written report) that he felt the fractures were from a single incident and that they were at minimum several weeks old. He couldn't commit to our theory of birth injury (and we didn't expect him to- we'll prob. never know how they happened), but he felt comfortable including in his report that it was absolutely possible. He believes this will continue to trial (it seems like rib fractures always do) and he wants a "rib series" done on Landon next week to compare the fractures, their healing, and get a more detailed look. Dr. B also mentioned that the x-rays were originally read by the hospital's "weakest" radiologist- and that's the report the CPS doctors based their decision on (he said there was no evidence to support the conclusion that the fractures were at "various stages of healing"- and that's the phrase that's been killing us). We also spoke with our pediatrician, who is so upset at what is going on, and got a letter from her attesting to our frequent visits and the lack of any signs of abuse.

We went to visit Landon at 4:30. He was finally wearing new clothes- an outfit we had brought him on the first day. He felt so much more "mine". It's hard to explain how I feel about that 60 minutes. Of course I couldn't go a day without seeing him and I look forward to our appointment, but when the time comes, part of me just wants it to be over. It's so, so hard to hold him and watch the clock countdown until I have to give him up again. I have never complained that DCFS was called because of our x-rays (though I protest mightily at their lack of any "investigation"). I understand why the CPS system exists and I have to believe that overall it does far more good than harm. However, I will never forgive the fact that they put my baby in a shelter instead of with his grandmother who was sitting right in front of them and was willing to move into a hotel or her own apartment within the hour.

A friend made a delicious dinner for us and then we came home to assemble our file for tomorrow. We've got it all: legal cases, medical articles, letters from doctors, pictures of Landon, etc. JP and my Dad went to sleep a while ago. JP has been so strong- I think it eats at him in a way I can't understand that he couldn't protect his little family from this nightmare. And Dad has been such a help- he makes lists (so that's who I inherited my obsessive list-making from...), makes me eat, keeps us upbeat, and acts as another person to bounce ideas off of (and a smart, caring person at that). We all just stay focused on getting Landon home and we pass the time doing everything we can to prepare for that decision. It's amazing how strong you can be for your child- we're being strong for Landon and dad is being strong for me. It would be so much easier to just break down and scream or cry- or both.

I can't describe how much I'm anticipating and fearing tomorrow. There's a best scenario (the ASA won't take the case) but it's also the least likely (our lawyer thinks that at a minimum they'll want more time so that the CPS doctors can respond to Dr. B's report); and there's the worst scenario (Landon goes to foster care) that is also unlikely. And a million things in between- none of them great, but all of them some degree of acceptable. Of course if you step back out of this nightmare and remember how absurd it is that we're in this situation, they're all totally unacceptable and we should just take Landon and flee to Canada. If the judge puts him in foster care, I think we may do just that.


  1. LL, I've been following your story with baited breath and am so happy that Landon is home with you this evening, right where he should be.

    However, the paranoid side of me came out when I read your last paragraph re: canada. While I totally understand the sentiment (and would do the same in a *heartbeat*), I don't know if I'd publish that last paragraph here, especially with all the attention that the blog is now drawing. you don't want to give the CPS bastards any more potential ammunition for their crazy, unfounded, uninvestigated claims. It's just that it makes me think of Dooce and Petite Anglaise, both bloggers who had their blogs turn around and bite them.

  2. You don't think that the ASA is letting you bring Landon home just so they can get a rebuttal statement to your doctor's?

    Grr, f***d up system...grrr...rr....r.....

    I dont understand why they didnt let one of your friends take him! Sure family might be something that gives you too much control but a friend is more of a third party! Or maybe a professor? (although I guess you wouldnt want to burden them with that responsibility...tuition doesn't cover everything =)

    But still............... I cant believe how many hoops and bells are going on here.... And who the heck is this BS radiolagist?? He needs to be fired. Stupid Ass. I wish he read this blog and saw the pain and suffering he caused.

    Sorry, I have displaced anger at the situation.... I'm just very happy that you have landon for now. And I think your Canada comment is funny and obviously sarcastic =)