Friday, October 12, 2007

The Worst

They're taking Landon. We had a home visit at9:30, supposedly to check the safety of the apartment, with my mom, JP, our case worker, and her supervisor. They looked around and then calmly informed us that they were taking temporary custody of Landon. The risk too him is too great, based on the doctor's report. They go to the state's attorney on Tuesday to see if he'll take the case (which is probable, given the medical report) and then we appear before an administrative law judge. If he grants TC, we go to trial for child abuse in 21-45 days. We are allowed to have supervised visits for a specified time each day.

They're taking my baby.

51 comments:

  1. OMG, No!!! LL, I am so very, very, very sorry. 21-45 days is completely unacceptable. I'll be praying that your attorney can get a temporary injunction so that, at the very least, they can place him with someone he knows (your aunt? Citations). All the Illinois law I've read seems to indicate that this is really unusual, especially since his only symptom is the broken ribs -- no bruises, malnutrition or other sign of continuing abuse. Please let me know if there is anything I can do (short of calling out a smackdown on the DCFS worker and, believe me, I'm tempted).

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  2. Oh my god. I am so sorry this is happening to you. I can only hope and pray that they will find the real reason for his injuries and you can be quickly reunited with your son.

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  3. Omg.... Can citations take him?? Please hold on, this is not over, you will be able to get him back...

    Btw, if they even try to send you a hospital bill for this ludicrous hospital stay you should sue in turn for coercively keeping you there (duress?) and throw in emotional trauma on top of it all.

    This is just horrible..

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  4. This is unbelievable. Please start gathering all the records of doctors visits prior to this that show you are simply concerned parents. Make sure you bring your pediatrian to the hearing too. You need to collect all the evidence that you can. Every last bit. If there is anything I can do, please let me know. I'm emailing you my phone number right now.

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  5. Oh no, oh no, oh no.

    I can't believe this is happening to you. This is crazy. I wish there were something I could do to help -- if there is, please let me know.

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  6. OMG. OMG. OMG.

    Surely this can't be!

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  7. This is horrible beyond words. There is a preference for placement with family members so hopefully you can prevent him from staying with strangers. I am not sure on Illinois law, but in Cal I think there needs to be a hearing within 24 hours of detention. Since it is Friday I am worried that nothing will happen over the weekend. Can you find out where they are placing him?

    I would love to do anything I can to help.

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  8. I was told by someone in the juvenile court system here in IL that they can only take him out of parental custody for 48 hours. Not sure how the weekend factors into that. If the weekend doesn't impact the 48 hours, I'm sure that these slimy people waited until today for a reason.

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  9. This is complete f*cking bullshit. I can't believe they're doing this to you. Keep the faith -- no one will take your baby!

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  10. **Fund for LL, JP and Landon:
    If anyone would like to contribute something to help the family during this difficult time, I've spoken with PayPal and you can send it to her email at LagLiv@gmail.com. She doesn't have a PayPal account currently registered with them using that address, but PayPal assures me that when you send the money, it will notify her, she can set up the account at her leisure, and the funds will be instantly available. You can verify on the front page of her blog that the lagliv@gmail.com is the address she uses (so you know this isn't a scam or something). I just wanted to do something to help and, since others mentioned they'd be interested on her post last night, I thought I'd take the bull by the horns. I'm on my way to PayPal to make the first donation right now. :)

    "To send money to someone who does not have a PayPal account, enter the recipient's email address in the box provided. The recipient will receive an email notification of your payment. After clicking the link in the email, the recipient can sign up for a new account. The money will immediately appear in the recipient's account balance."

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  11. Okay, I was wrong that her email is on the front page of the blog, but she's emailed me directly before so I swear it's the right address. :)

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  12. Oh no. LL, I am so sorry, and horrified.

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  13. this is unbelievable. they are going on the words of one stupid doctor. i can't believe the system is THIS screwed up.

    i hope, that when this is all over and your baby is back home, that you sue them for all they've got. in the meantime, your family is in my thoughts and prayers. justice will prevail!!

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  14. Oh my God. I have no words. I am praying for you. Keep pushing, keep records, keep hoping.

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  15. Speechless, sad, praying.

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  16. I just found your blog through someone else yesterday. I am so very sorry that you have to deal with this. I can't begin to imagine how hard this must be -- not just the DCFS issues, but knowing that there is something wrong with your son and being powerless to do something. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your son.

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  17. I can't believe all this is happening on the word of one person -- who, it sounds like, keeps denying what she is doing when you confront her about it directly.

    And I can't believe this is happening to you at all, having followed you through the excitement of your pregnancy and the joys and worries of Landon's early days.

    Good luck. Still praying for you.

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  18. Oh god. I commented on the last post but it didn't show up. The point is, we check in with the blog and think of you every day, and my heart hurts for you and your family. Add us to your picture of your crowd of supporters.

    - Andrea Saenz

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  19. I mean to write "Andrea and Dan," not my whole name, but...yeah. Both of us.

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  20. I cannot believe that this is happening to you. Landon was so loved and happy when I met him--I am just in total shock. My husband and I are going to the church light a candle and pray for you, and we'll have an intention for you tonight at mass. I wish I could hug you or do anything...

    -Heather Blanco

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  21. butterflyfish10/12/07, 1:40 PM

    I have no words. I am sorry. I am praying. Thank you for keeping us posted... there are many of us out here, mommys and not, who are just... in shock, distressed, saddened... be strong.

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  22. we love you, LL. Stay strong: you will get through this!

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  23. Oh my god - I am so, so, so sorry. Words cannot express... I wish there was something I could do for you. If there is anything you need, research or otherwise, please let me know at grass@mydomain.com.

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  24. I am at a total loss for words LL...

    I can't even focus my crim law prof because this seems so unfair, unjust and totally unreal-- :(

    I am truly sorry and I will continue to pray for you! If there is anything that you need-- anything that I can do for you please do not hesitate to email me!

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  25. I came across your blog while reading Mom's Daily Dose on ClubMom. Your story is similar to the nightmare I went through 7 years ago with my daughter. She had a knot on her shoulder so i pointed it out to her pediatrician during a check up (after he failed to notice it). After x-rays it was revealed that she had a broken rib. But no other signs of abuse. My daughter was taken out of my care and put in care with her father who had never been a part of her life. It took me a solid week of going to court to get that changed. (CPS chose to remover her from me based on on the word of a day care worker who said my daughter never seemed happy. SHe had only been at the day care less than a month) All other interviews that were done by CPS were in my favor. I fought a long hard battle. But i stood my ground and fought for my daughter. I had her pediatrian behind me as well as the police detectives who I was interviewed by. Stay strong. Your child will need you to be.

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  26. Received an email that LL just accepted the money I sent through PayPal so, if you wish to donate, the system is working and you should send your PayPal donations to lagliv at gmail dot com.

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  27. I know that there is nothing I can say to ease you and your family's pain, but my heart aches right now.

    I'll pray for strength for you all and that Landon is returned to you as soon as possible. Never give up. Push for them to do the medical tests that they have so far neglected.

    On another more incensed note, how horrible is it to toy with your emotions this way: get your hopes up that your baby is coming home, come to your house to inspect and then breaks this news to you?

    I'm so so so sorry for this nightmare you're going through.

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  28. long time lurker here - holy crap. Insane and unbelievable. It's like a bizarro-world. Even with the law school resources and your contact, one doctor was able to make this decision? I am in utter shock and can't possibly imagine how you must feel.

    Prayers for you and your family. This is absolutley the most insane thing I have ever heard. I wish I had something more comforting to say.

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  29. This is so fucked up, I am disgusted. Keep moving forward, stay strong, and keep your lawyer on that caseworker every minute of the weekend.

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  30. My god. I'm so sorry. I can only pray that everything works out. And you are certainly in my thoughts and prayers.

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  31. Just found your story through the Daily Dose. I can't believe all the things you have had to go through with this. It sounds like such a crazy, insane, nightmare. I hope they get this settled quickly and find out the cause behind the injuries, so you can get your baby back.

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  32. Came across your blog yesterday and my heart is breaking for you right now. I'll be thinking of you during this incredibly difficult time and hoping for the best!

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  33. Delurking to say that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I can't believe they're really doing this in the "best interest" of Landon.

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  34. I'm brand new to your blog...thanks to Amalah for recommending it. I am so sorry to hear about this...I can't believe how irrational all these people seem to be! I am praying that they actually think to research your son's injuries further and see that maybe it's just a weird fluke that it looks like abuse. Like others have mentioned, this seems unprecedented he doesn't have any other related injuries or malnutrition. I really hope things clear up for you.

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  35. It's been ghastly, people, and confusing and heartbreaking and surreal.

    Your support means everything to them right now.

    I'm going to take a huge liberty here, on LL's behalf, because they're a little distracted:

    Does anyone know of furnished apartments in Chicago that would be available starting immediately, or basically Monday? That may need to be the next step. Given how late in the day it is, I just wanted to float the question before close of business.

    Thanks, everyone. You are wonderful.

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  36. I'm reading you through my friend Citations, and while I can't do much, I can offer my thoughts and prayers for all of you.

    Jill

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  37. Oh my goodness. I can't believe this. I'm sitting here in tears - I am so sorry this is happening to you. I can't even express how awful I feel for you - I can't imagine what you're going through. I'm praying for you though. This is so miserable.

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  38. Citations, I'd look into corporate housing; there are a lot of corporate housing companies in town, so I'd just give one a call and see what their availability is for next week.

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  39. Do they have a church or other worship place? You'd be surprised how easily people can come up with furniture to lend/donate. Perhaps if they can find an inexpensive, unfurnished place to rent this weekend, they can ask their priest to put out a call on Sunday for parishioners to lend furniture so that it will be a suitable space for, I assume, a family member or friend to have Landon. My church has an email list and we get emails like this all the time.

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  40. In terms of corporate housing, not sure what she's telling her future employer but a LOT of large firms have accounts/discounts with these kind of national corporate chains. I'm sure they'd be willing to help her with a code or a call to someone who can assist them.

    Also, what about a Marriott Residence Inn or another corporate rent-by-the-week place? They are furnished and offer a fridge and other "homey" amenities.

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  41. Do you know Professor Buss? She is who I would turn to if something like this happened to me. Best of luck.

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  42. okay...just catching up since I'm new and realized that your little Landon is only a few days younger than my Cooper! That seems to make things even more terrifying!!! I can only imagine how devastated you must feel. It looks like you've got a lot of support through your blogger friends adn through your friends that are closeby. Take heart in that and we'll be praying for you.

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  43. Marriott Residence Inn
    201 East Walton Place
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    Phone: 1-312-943-9800

    Homewood Suites
    40 East Grand Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611
    (312) 644-2222

    Amerisuites
    8101 W Higgins Rd
    Chicago, IL 60631
    (773) 867-0000

    Habitat Corporate Suites Network
    555 West Madison
    Chicago, IL 60661
    Toll-Free: 1.866.232.9397
    Phone: 312-902-2092

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  44. oh my god.......there are no words right now. we are still praying.

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  45. We've never met, but some of your fellow 3Ls summered at my firm in DC. I've contacted them about your situation (I'm sure that the law school community will rally behind you during this incredibly difficult time). If there's anything I can do from here, please let me know. In the mean time, please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I know this must seem like the end of the world, but you will get through this.
    -Gabrielle B.
    (Dan Fine has my contact info.)

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  46. Exiled to Canada10/12/07, 4:46 PM

    Got to you from Daily Dose. I would get on the phone to the closest Research University Hospital in your area, find out who the head of Pediatric Orthopedics is, ask if s/he will do an emergency consultation and insist that the original hospital surrender the records to that person. My brother and mom suffer from a rare bone disorder, actually each has a slightly different mutation, my brother's x-rays appear in medical texts because no one had ever seen anything like it before. He broke one wrist 8 times and the other 7 before the age of 8 and broke numerous other bones in addition. If this wingnut Doc had been around, he would have ended up in foster care too. They have the diagnosis of Multi-pheseal (sp) dysplasia and epi-pheseal dysplasia. The point is, there are a lot of genetic bone disorders out there that could result in this. You need an expert on your side. Hang in there.

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  47. LL, I have no words. I am so sorry about this and I am thinking about you.

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  48. I found you through Henny Penny's Central Illinois Life blog...

    What a nightmare! Hugs to you!

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  49. This doesn't even make any sense. When children are really abused, it can take ages to get them out of the home. Why would they be so EFFICIENT with you?

    I'm so sorry; this must be devastating. I hope everything turns out okay.

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  50. Came over from Mom's Daily Dose, and I just wanted to say, I hope everything works out for you quickly, and that the separation is not prolonged, and that your son's condition is properly diagnosed.

    My mother used to work for DFS. Because of my mother's DFS work experience, I can tell you that the reason your DFS social worker is not returning your calls and seems totally uninterested in your case is that she has twice as many cases on her desk right now than she ought to, state and county red tape won't let her get proper help for half the people in her files (even if the work hasn't made her dead inside yet, and she's still enough of an idealist to WANT to help) and, most likely, last week she had her life threatened in person by a violent psychopath for the fifth time this year.

    If you really want to get the DFS social worker's attention, I would suggest that you try to grit your teeth and be polite to her on the phone, even if she's acting terribly rudely toward you. DFS caseworkers don't get to talk to people who are being polite to them very often, and it might make her stand up and take notice. I would also try to meet with her in person as much as possible, even if you have to beg for an appointment. That way she can't forget your face.

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  51. Could the media actually be a help right now? Is there a possiblity someone you know, knows a sympathetic reporter who would explain your story rationally and help put some pressure on the authorities to do the right thing? You see how outraged everyone here is, if you could get public opinion on your side, it might really help.

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