Happy Birthday honey.
One afternoon, I get a call on my cell phone. Its the daycare, I need to pick up Angel, she has hurt someone... again. I rush over to see how bad it is this time. She apperently was in the classroom during recess, under the ploy of going to the bathroom. She found the 2liter of soda the class had been drinking for the bday party one of the children had. So, she started drinking it. Angel stole and snuck food all the time. We arent sure why. Another little girl came into the room and saw Angel, who then spit soda out all over the child's face, then she proceeded to beat her with said bottle. She broke the child's nose. The week before, she was caught telling her little brother that mommy didnt love him, and she was going to leave him and nobody would ever love him except her. He was 2 years old. They were seperated after that, and he started doing alot better at daycare. A few months before that, she shoved a boy down some steps, and dislocated his shoulder.
When the teacher stopped her from beating up the little girl, Angel told her that she (teacher) better not tell mommy or she'll slit her (my) throat, then kill herself. Yes, 6 years old. I didnt know what to do.. so I took her to the ER for crisis intervention. I was terrified to bring her home, after several attempts at hurting her brother and sister. While at the hospital, she told the nurse the same thing. That she was going to slit my throat and kill herself. I was holding her and crying. Its one thing for someone to tell you she said that, but to actually hear it come out of her mouth was a whole different story. She looked up at me and asked why I was crying. She didnt even remember what she said. not 2 minutes later.
The nurse asked me if I was afraid to bring Angel home. I said yes, I was afraid. I never said I WOULDNT do it, I said I was afraid to. If they had said, there is nothign we can do, take her home, I would have. No problem. By that time I was beginning to think maybe I was being too rash in bringing her to the hospital. Finally they said they were going to admit her in the ped's unit, until they had a bed for her at the other hospital, on the other side of the state. She went the next day.
I had dropped out of school, and was home from work for like three days so I could be on the phone with her doctors, and have confrence calls and whatnot. Angel told me she wanted Daddy (Jason) to go on the plane over with her. So he did.
I was next to the phone every minute in case they called me while she was there. And they did call, and I spoke with them. After three days they said they wanted me to come out there and be there for these meetings. We had no money, I had a new baby, and Julian as well. PLUS, Jason was working out in the field (oil) so there was no way I could get there. We agreed on more phone confrenceing.
two days after that, I was on my way to a tanning booth, for some much needed rest (a whole 18 minutes lol) when my cell rang. It was the hospital. They told me Angel was discharged. (this was a wednesday I think) I was really excited, and asked how she was getting back, and when could we pick her up. The woman told me she was already back, and was taken directly to DHS custody. WHAT??!! I screamed at her through the phone. (in the middle of the gym). She said, you'll know it all on friday, you have court at 9 am.
I was floored. I just stood there, in shock, not beliveing it. I called the number they had given me, and the guy confirmed that yes, she was taken into custody because of abuse. WHAT ABUSE??!! I asked.. he wouldnt say. I called Jason, hysterical, and he told me everything was going to be fine.. they would give her back to us as soon as they realised it wasnt true.. blah blah. I knew they wouldnt though. I had a friend that went through something similar with her son, and they never gave him back. I called her and went to her house, sobbing all over her back porch, smoking like a train.
On friday morning, I was in court, and the DA gave me a thick package of papers, I guess it was there initial report based on the "abuse". When called to the stand, I told the judge that I had not seen the report until now, and have not had enough time to read it through, but that there were alot of accusations with no evidence, or just heresay in the first few pages, and we cleared up a few things. Things like, I repeatedly cut myself in front of my daughter, and I made her watch. Which was bullshit. Yes, I did cut myself alot when she was younger, but NEVER EVER in front of her. The only time I can think of where she was exposed to alot of blood was when her bio father beat me up and caused me to miscarry when Angel was two. He beat me up, and I was left in the bathroom, unconcious. When I came too, there was blood everywhere, and Angel was curled up next to me, asleep, in my blood. I had been 4 months pregnant. I was 17. I told the judge this, so he dismissed the first claim. there were others, I just cant really think right now.
Anyway, the actual abuse was that Jason and I locked her in a box all the time, and left her on the porch and she would scream and cry and beg for help, and nobody would let her out. WTF???!!!
1) we didnt have a porch
2) if that had happend, our neighbors would have heard, let her out, and call the cops. We lived in an apartment.
3) I would never ever ever do that to a child.
So our court was rescheduled so I could get a lawyer, and read the papers. I wasnt able to get a lawyer. We are in that bracket where you make too much to get a free one, and too little to get anything else. We lived in a really really crappy apartment, that we were searching to get out of anyway. W were told we were going to get a home check from the social worker, from CASA, and from the GAL. We were terrified they would think that bc we lived in this crappy place they would take Jenna and Julian as well. We also had to send my little sister back to my mom because we were afraid they would take her too, just because she lived with us.
We promptly found this wonderful house we have now, and it was God sent. She didnt want first,last,next months rent, and only 600 deposit.. our landlady/lord are wonderful awsome people.
Within a week of moving in, we had visits from ever DHS person in colorado. Everyone said how great the house is, how well behaved, and happy and healthy our other children are.. I figured it was a done deal. It was October by then, I hadnt seen Angel in 2 months. More court.. and they decided to give us visitation. 1 hour a week, without Jenna and Julian. it was after school, so we had to bring dinner for her. Then we met Cathy, our visit supervisor. She was kinda like an advocate for us. She's let us get away with stuff we werent supposed to. For instance, I told my big sister to be at a certain park at a certain time, if she and her kids wanted to see angel. Then Cathy would drive us 25 miles to get to this park where.. suprise! Angel's aunt and cousins justr happend to be..
On our second visit, Angel told us about how she lied to the people at the hospital about us abusing her. She didnt know this would happen and she was sorry. Cathy noted this in her report, and immediatly told our social worker, Julie. Julie spoke with Angel, who confirmed that it was in fact a lie.
However, Angel was already in her second foster home, and was displaying major symptoms. She was incredibly violent, manipulative, and just plain mean. They wanted to keep her, so that they could get her the help she needed before she came home and was around the little ones. We were devistated. The longer they kept her, the worse she got. Angel was placed in the Pediatric ATU (alternative treatment unit) several times, to keep her and other people safe from her violence.
Finally, in December, we were allowed to start bringing the kids with us to visit her. Those visits all went pretty well. Julian didnt want much to do with her at first, but he always cried and cried for his sister when we left. They both did. We all did. We had a little xmas in that family room, and we also had Jenna's 1st birthday, and Angel's 7th, in that room, as a family. Jason's mom became a kin placement for Angel. She lived there about 6 months. They had alot of problems, but Amy maintains to this day she was getting better.
We finished parenting classes, our individual therepy, couple's therepy, and were now undergoing family therepy. We were almost done.
In july (2003) Angel was moved from Amy's home, and placed back into the ATU. Amy had just had surgery on her knee, and couldnt walk weel, and Angel took the oppertunity to destroy everything in her room.. and alot of other things. it was deemed that Amy could not take care of her alone, and so she was moved again. She stayed at ATU for about 3 weeks, and we visited her there. It was a pretty nice place I guess. It was better then that single room we had been using. It had been almost one year.. the deadline for wheather or not we were getting her back. They still told us the goal we were working on was reunification of the family. Angel was placed in another home. This time, a level 2 home. Her foster mom was Sandy, and she was an awsome lady. When I met Sandy, (september 2003) Angel, Jason, the kids and I were on our way to the visit room and Angel turned around and said "bye mom!" I looked at her and said, "hun, Im coming with you". She looked at me and said " I wasnt talking to you " I almost started crying right there. Everyone just looked at me waiting to see what I would say. I said oh, okay.. and we moved on. That month they decided they were not giving her back. They decided that it would be better for Angel to "cut all familial ties" and move on with he life. She was bi polar, with RAD (reactive attachment disorder) had PTSD and some disassociation. They said that she was only getting worse, and they didnt want to send her home because she would be a danger to the other kids. All her doctors agreed, and they had already started therepy with her to let us go. We were blown away. I cried all the time.
We were trying to fight them, until finally they said "if you dont relinquish her, we will take all the kids, because you will be placing them in danger. If you let her go, it will show that you care about her well being, and your other two can stay." Manipulation at its finest. I talked to everyone I knew, everyone said it was the right thing to do, to protect the other kids. My mother told me if she had had to risk one of us to save us all, she would do it. But, how do you choose? How do you explain to a child, that she was let go to save the others. its like choosing them over her. I didnt want to lose them all, but I didnt want to lose her either.
In the end, they terminated anyway. Our last visit was October 3,2003. We were allowed two hour instead of the normal one. We took alot of pictures. I havent even developed them yet. I dont want to see them. All of us smiling through our tear stained faces. When we first got to the visit room, Angel was fine, she was the normal happy girl she always seemed to be. My older sister showed up, to say goodbye. She cried as much as I did I think. I noticed Angle walking around the room, her face was dark red. I brought her onto my lap (her weighing over 100 pounds btw, thanks to her meds) and I told her that it was ok to cry. that this was sad, and it was ok to cry. She let it out, and cried. Only for a couple minutes, and she was fine the rest of the time. But how sad, that I had to tell her it was ok to do that.
When the visit was over, she curled up next to her therepist (AKA evil bitch) and she smiled and waved goodbye, and turned away and started to play with Evil Bitch. I couldnt belive she just let it go so easy. I mean, I was glad she hadnt lost it. I understood because, I hadnt really been her mom for a year and a half at that point. it was odd though. At that moment, I belived the RAD diagnosis. That was it. that was the end.
I accidently ran into Angel last year in March. We were in walmart and I was going into a dressing room, and I heard my name being called "Charly!" I turned around, and there was Angel, all her hair cut off, she had lost some weight. She was heading into the changing room next to mine. We hugged, and talked a little. I wasnt allowed to really sit and talk to her, and I kept it short because I didnt want the NEW foster mom to freak out and run off before I could see if she really was okay. I was shocked to see her. I was a little hurt she called me Charly instead of "mom". I understand, but it still hurt. We walked away..me trying so hard not to cry in front of the kids, trying to hold it together.. while they cried and wailed and called to her. it was one of the saddest things I have ever experienced. We havent run into her since then, although I stare at kids all the time that look like her. I see them everywhere. I wonder, if, when she is 15, or 20, if when I am on the lookout for her, if I will still be looking for the 7 year old girl I last saw.. (well, she was 8 when I saw her at walmart).
So, thats it. Thats the long version. Angel turned 9 today. According to her worker, she seems to finally be responding to treatment, but that they dont think she will do well in a regular home setting, where she will have to form attachments to people, because its hard for her to do that (it wasnt, until they took her) and it makes her violent, so they say. She said that maybe a group home setting will be better for her, so that there is a rotating staff, she wont be stuck with the same person all the time. I dont know. It makes me so sad to think of her in that sorta place. But, if thats the type of place she does better in... I dont know.
I just dont know.
that was written back in February last year. I recently found out that this whole time she was actaully here in my city. I found out that she has actually run away from her foster place TWICE. Fucking bastards.