Friday, October 12, 2007

The Landon Fund

[Edited in January, 2008: In previous comments, people suggested setting up a fund for donations from those who wanted to help. One reader did just that and the resulting donations from family, friends, and strangers covered the financial costs of our nightmare. Our gratitude can't be put in to words, but I tried here and here.]

They took Landon to a shelter at 3pm. He started crying when they took him from my arms. I held it together (because I promised to as a condition of them allowing us to come to the hospital to say goodbye) and then completely collapsed, sobbing, back up in our hospital room. I can't believe my baby is in a shelter. He's 12 weeks old. We're legally allowed one visit a day for one hour. We won't get to see him today. Right now we're doing everything we can to get ready for the hearing in front of the judge on Tuesday morning.

41 comments:

  1. Holy crap, LL! One visit a week for one hour? He's only 12 weeks old!!! I hope this long nightmare ends swiftly on Tuesday when the judge hears all of this and places him back in your arms where he belongs. Let me know if there is anything, no matter how small, I can do to help.

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  2. Oh my god. Words cannot express.

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  3. If anything happens to that baby while he's in their care, you should sue the hospital and DCSF for three thousand times the costs because they had more than ample warning that he could potentially have health problems.

    Who's going to provide his special formula while he's there? Do they even know which one it is that he eats now?

    Are they going to watch out for him when he wont eat to not get dehydrated?

    They are total bullshit artists and I hope they rot in hell if anything bad happens.

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  4. wow can they take a baby away from his mother at 12 weeks??? that just sounds way to young and wrong =((

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  5. I am so proud to know someone who is being so strong in a time like this. please know that we are praying for you. I have emailed your blog to all my teacher friends and we are all thinking about you.

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  6. Thinking of you! I hope that all of this gets straightened out next week. We at school are here for you and awaiting Landon's return to you.

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  7. i know it's totally unimportant in the wake of your tragedy, but what are you doing about school? hopefully they are working with you on this, because obviously this stuff is more important than attending class.

    i'm so sorry for all of this.

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  8. Total nightmare. I am so sorry.

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  9. Hey, LL, I came here via Amalah at ClubMom and I just wanted to say I'm so sorry. It seems so scary and upsetting even to me, and I can't even imagine how you must feel. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you in this incredibly difficult time.

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  10. You've been doing an amazing job of keeping it together. I'm in awe of your strength -- and desperately hoping the nightmare ends soon.

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  11. 12 weeks old? A week is like 8% of his entire lifespan! That is completely unrealistic and unfair. I'm sure the visits will be supervised so why can't they be more frequent? Even Britney Spears who is a horrible mother gets to see her kids more! I'm just angry now. BTW, the paypal link is broken it gives me an error when I try clicking through.

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  12. My prayers are with you and your family. I have friends who are foster parents and I know this happens to innocent people.

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  13. I've been sitting here just locked to the screen and gripping my face at the horror of what you're going through.

    You KNOW that you are right and you KNOW you've done nothing wrong. If your innocence can't save this situation, I have no hope for the world.

    When your darling comes back to you, it will just help you appreciate him all the more as he grows up and does all of those "annoying" toddler things. You've done nothing wrong. You will prevail. I will not believe for a second that I'm just being naive.

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  14. I just want to say how overwhelmed I am by all of the support I've seen on this blog. LL is one of my closest friends since the age of 8, so to see this many people support my friend - some of whom have never met her in person - really touches my heart.

    I dont study law, but it would be amazing if this blog could be shown as evidence in your case to prove what caring, loving, and protective parents you and JP have been since the day you found out you were pregnant. And they should be afraid of the large Army of Supporters you have here too, because I am sure we're all ready to raise some hell on your behalf!

    If I can help you in Chicago in any way, you say the word and I'll hop on the next plane to be there (TB too, we've already discussed it). I am so proud of the strength you've shown in this horrific experience. I've said this to you already, but you are the best mom to that little boy and he WILL come back to you.

    My love and prayers are with you and your family!

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  15. LL and JP and LL's Mom: you are all so brave and strong. Know that Meg's Army of Supporters (such an accurate description!) includes many you'll never know, all praying for you night and day.

    From your favorite chaplain, Psalm 20: In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.

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  16. I'm in shock. I guess it is important to remember that these people are just trying to do their jobs and protect innocent babies. With that said, I really hope this all goes away and they let you have your baby back. I'll be thinking about you. Hopefully things will get better soon:)

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  17. After reading this post, I can not stop crying. I can't even begin to imagine the emotional rollercoaster you must be on.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Stay strong.

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  18. I don't even know you, yet I love Mr Squirmy and I'm totally on your side!!! I've been in tears most of the day and my heart has ached for you for days through this whole nightmare--as a mom, as a gal, as a human being!!!!! 12 weeks old?!!?!!
    I've joked that folks are welcome to come take a look at my 3 kids and "decide" their fate, those lil "!@#@!"...I will never joke about that again!!!
    Poo that everything happens for a reason...there is no reason involved here.
    I told J to give ya'll a big hug from me when she sees you again. Know that I wish I could do more to ease that ache in your heart!!
    C

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  19. I feel compelled to post and tell you that I just read your entire blog and it pulled at my heartstrings. I cannot imagine what you're going through. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  20. my heart is absolutely breaking for you and your family. be strong for your baby.

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  21. I have no words. I cannot even imagine what you are going through. I hope everything gets better just as quicl as it got bad

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  22. On a more practical note, don't show DCFS the blog. It has too many downsides. But thanks for continuing to share all this with us, so we can be here for you.

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  23. Someone posted a link to your blog on a message board I read and I have just read your story in shock. I have an 8 month old daughter myself and I can't imagine what you are going through.

    This whole thing is unbelievable. I can assure you that I will be thinking of you and checking back for updates daily. I hope you and your husband are rightfully cleared and can take your son home to cuddle very soon. No loving mother should be put through this.

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  24. A fellow mom posted your blog on our mommy message board and I'm appalled at everything you've been going through! I always knew the state of Illinois lacked in compassion for family welfare, but this just tops the cake. I hope your son is back in your arms again soon!

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  25. I've just read your whole blog after following a link.

    This must be so awful for you, especially not knowing what caused the ribs to break (I presuemed that the the popping sound you mentioned was a rib popping?) I hope they discover it was a side-effect of the NICU treatment, and can prove that, and it's nothing long-term serious, and that he comes home soon.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you (from New Zealand)

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  26. I was lead here from another message board where a friend of yours asked us to visit here. As a new mom myself, I cannot imagine. Your story breaks my heart and I hope and pray that this is resolved in your favor as quickly as humanly possible and that you are permanently reunited with your son. It angers me greatly that they made you promise to "keep it together" while saying goodbye to your son. How dare they. It's little consolation that a stranger would offer her prayers, but that's all I can do. Take care, and I wish you and your family the best.

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  27. Wait- he's 12 weeks old, wasn't he in the NICU for a bit? and the breaks are older than 10 weeks.... hmmmm, maybe they need to be looking at 1- the BIRTH and 2- the nurses from the nicu????

    I can't imagine what you're going through, I hope it all gets resolved soon- and I'd be raising HELL that I couldn't see my 12 week old baby but ONCE a week- they haven't charged you with anything, you haven't been found guilty of anything... it's rediculous and enfuriating!

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  28. So many people have already posted their sadness and anger at what's happening to you, but at the risk of sounding redundant, I want to echo their sentiments. This is unimaginable. Although we've never met, I've been sending up prayer after prayer for Landon, and for you and your husband. God bless you all, and may you quickly find that precious baby back in your arms.

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  29. I read the entire story in tears.. I can't even imagine how you are coping.
    I really really really hope that this will be cleared up in your court appointment and I am shocked that the doctor didn't look deeper into a medical reason for the breaks but just (seemingly)immediately decided that it was abuse. What a terrifying experience. Lets hope it will be over soon.
    Hugs from Iceland,
    Emblita

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  30. I want to agree with "Anonymous-8:47 am." I read back to see how he was delivered. The [nautral] birth process is the most traumatic thing human bodies go through! They need to be pouring over all the hospital's daily notes from the moment he crowned, to his last minute in the NICU. Of course, some MD's are so arrogant that they can't possibly look within the hospital walls for a cause to his injuries. I can't believe they wouldn't even look into the birth process or the nurses' handling in the NICU.

    Have you contacted, or do you plan on contacting, any of the local media?

    Best wishes to you and your family.

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  31. Every mama across America is pulling for you and your baby.

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  32. I just stumbled on to your blog. I saw they did blood work for your child, but did they test specifically for osteogenesis imperfecta?

    http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/uvahealth/peds_orthopaedics/oi.cfm

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  33. I just clicked over from Mom's Daily Dose and have caught up... my heart is just breaking for you. It is all just so unbelievable. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  34. I read about your story on a parenting messageboard, and I just wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you and your sweet baby Landon. I cannot even imagine the nightmare that you're going through. Check out this link: http://www.nkmr.org/english/bone_diseases_that_lead_to_false_allegations_of_child_abuse.htm
    It describes several bone diseases that can lead to false allegations of non-accidental injury. I hope and pray that you get Landon back very, very soon and that this horrible mess all goes away!!!

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  35. ad_to_false_allegations_of_child_abuse.htm

    Sorry--here's the rest of that link above.

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  36. I just found your story and read through the archives. You're right, you are in Hell. A nightmare. I can't believe this kind of thing happens in real life. I felt "looked at funny" when I had to bring one of my twins in for a ped visit (and subsequent CAT scan) when she fell on her head at 4 months (my fault, long story, but accidents happen, too) She seemed fine before I even brought her, I just wanted to make sure, as a nervous first time mom. I felt like I had to try to act not guilty, when they started questioning me, but by doing that I seemed more guilty. Its just crazy. Thank God they didn't try to take it any further in my case. Please know that I will be thinking of you three and keeping you in my prayers. I'm so angry for you. Good luck.

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  37. Mrs Butter B10/13/07, 2:24 PM

    Hey, don't give up hope. As a foster parent, I can tell you , this kind of thing happens a LOT. The state is paranoid about removing kids because of the risk. The "better safe than sorry" philosphy.

    I'm sure he'll go to a great foster home- people love babies, it isn't like he's an older child with attitude (sadly, those typically end up in other facilities often).

    chances are, the investigation will go quickly. Just stay on top fo it, if you don't hear anything for a day or so, call. Make sure you don't stop checking on him, etc.

    2 other questions: 1) did they use forceps on your delivery? That has resulted in broken bones, even mid torso, if the dr used forceps to "turn" him. 2) Ask for the records to your delivery especially if C section, since there may indicate additional care that you aren't aware of. Baby bones can often take longer to knit back, and 12 weeks is still reasonable.

    Other question- how sure of your babysitter are you? Not to sound paranoid myself, but something DID cause the breaks. Typically brittle bone syndrome has breaking of the limbs, as they are more likely to get bent, used, etc. Broken ribs typically only come from severe pneuemonia (coughing can break them, although rare), or attempted CPR/chest compressions/Heimlich.

    Is it possible that he choke and Maya "thumped" his chest to break it up? Or rubbed too hard in an effort to soothe the colic?

    Abuse isn't always mean-intentions- we've seen quite a few birth families that just weren't educated well enough to know what NOT to do. They meant well, but with terrible results.

    And the more serious side- who was with Maya? Could there be someone who did do this? An older child that squeezed him too much, or deliberately did this?

    Keep in mind, a lot of the examples of child fatalities that I've read involve accidental incidents (a crawler choking on a forgotten piece of dropped popcorn) and then the caretaker panicked and tried to shake it out or do the heimlich on too young of a child.

    As for showing them the blog, definitely no. They Can and WIll find reasons to raise hell on it. Everything is subjective online, and in cases of DCS investigations, LESS IS BETTER. Answer the questions, live your life, but volunteer nothing if it has the possibility of implicating you. Some social workers are fantastic, most are not.

    Stay strong. You're in my prayers.

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  38. LL,if you want to contact the media, i know of a fellow alumni of our college that works as a news reporter in Illinois..send me an email at : hannahbananatx@gmail.com

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  39. a link to your blog was posted on my ivillage playgroup, i have just spent the last hour reading your story. i know that there is nothing i can say to help you during this time, but know that you and your wonderful family are in our thoughts and prayers.
    i too have a 12 week old baby boy, and could not imagine the hell you are going through right now. stay strong, Landon will come home, probably much sooner than you think! and give that Dr K. holy hell for all that she has put you through. i'm heading to paypal right now, and urging all my fellow ivillagers to do the same.

    Jennie & family

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  40. All I can say is like many others, my thoughts are with you in this difficult time. I truly believe that you will look back on this time someday and it will just be a distant, awful memory. Although, it is hard to think of these things right now.

    Please keep us updated as you are so frequently in my thoughts and I am hoping for some good news!

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