Thursday, April 10, 2014

I met with Miss Daisy's lawyer

My entire body went on Red Alert at about 1:00PM today. Exactly one hour before I was to meet with Daisy's lawyer.

Lawyers, in general, don't make me nervous at all. It's just how The System works down here that messes with me. I don't personally feel like I should have to chase down the lawyer for a meeting. In my rainbow and lollipop world, the lawyers should call the caregivers (if the cherubs are young) and talk with them once a month. If the cherubs are older, the lawyers should set up a meeting with the child they represent. But...that's my rainbow and lollipop world. Reality down where I live is that lawyers do not do much and decisions are made on limited information given to them minutes before everyone is standing in front of the judge.

So I scheduled this meeting.

I rehearsed about a million different introductions. I never hit on a script that I liked. Because, keep in mind, I have to support whatever the State is supporting. And this lawyer was pushing for reunification just 10 days ago.

I'm sitting here 90 minutes later and I honestly can't tell you how I started things. (Stress really messes with my head.) But I can tell you the conversation was smooth, the lawyer talked to me like I had a clue, and she took notes. (Yes...the lawyer took notes!!)

The topic I wanted to come up the most did come up. And I came right out and said it, "Bio Mom and Bio Dad are still together. No, they don't have the same physical address. But they are very much emotionally together."

I then sited my three examples:
  1. Bio Mom showing the video during the visit and then saying that nobody knows Bio Dad like she does
  2. Bio Mom and Bio Dad asking if they could live together again when they were at the Family Group Conference. Bio Mom stating during said conference that she is waiting to see what happens at the criminal trial when it comes to her relationship with Bio Dad.
  3. Bio Mom telling the babysitting service that she's still with Bio Dad.
The lawyer took note of all three events. She indicated that she's going to talk to CPS about the Family Group Conference and that she's going to call the babysitting service to see what they say. (Inside I was screaming, "You were invited to the FGC!! You could have come and heard it all yourself! You could have taken an active role in protecting your client!")

As much as I wanted to fully focus on the relationship with Bio Mom and Bio Dad that puts Daisy at risk, I tried to keep my focus on Daisy and her medical needs. The lawyer seemed totally OK with court ordering that Bio Mom keep up with all interventions if reunification happens. I found it interesting though...Ms. Lawyer didn't know anything about Daisy not having vaccinations or any medical care prior to the injury. I did my best to explain that Bio Mom will have a LOT to juggle to keep up with all of Daisy's therapies and specialists.

All in all I think the meeting went well.

When I got home I sent a text right away to Mr. CW to let him know that I had met with the lawyer. I wanted him to have the heads up since Ms. Lawyer indicated she would be checking in with Mr. CW. I do not want him blindsided by anything! (I like Mr. CW!)

Now I wait. I'm guessing nothing is going to change right away. I have to hope that Ms. Lawyer will better advocate for Miss Daisy as the case moves forward – now that she has the bigger picture painted.


Buzy Bee said...

Glad it went well. Praying the Lord will guide Lawyer and all decision makers to do what is best for Ms Daisy

Karen said...

Does the lawyer know about Daisy's other injuries? I'm glad she seemed to listen to you.

Cherub Mamma said...

I mentioned - yet again - about the healing rib fracture that happened prior to the injury that brought Daisy in to Care.

Ms. Lawyer had a unique take on that.

It's hard to describe. But everything Ms. Lawyer learns about THIS case is filtered through the situations she's come across in her "real" job as a defense attorney. I know I'm not wording it quite right...but I guess it's something like Ms. Lawyer is more willing to accept "excuses" from the bio parents than I am.

Karen said...

Sad. I hope she sees soon that there is a "real" need for her to defend DAISY.

Emily said...

Around the corner from me lives an 83-year-old man, recently a widower. After their own children were grown, he and his wife spent 25 years as foster parents. They cared for over 100 children over the years. When DHS came out for our home study, they told me all about this precious couple, and how they were wonderful advocates for the kids in their care. Now most of the kids are grown, and this man's driveway is rarely empty...many of the grown kids keep coming back to be with him. Be encouraged!!! Though you're in the trenches now and the fight is hard, it's worth it. They're worth it. Praying for you!

grkanga said...

I am certain you did a remarkable and wonderful job. Hopefully this will make a difference for Daisy and any other child this lawyer represents. You may have been the first foster parent the lawyer ever really talked to and undoubtedly the most articulate, organized, informed and strongest advocate for a foster child. THANK YOU for what you do.

Anonymous said...

My doctor friend sent me this article about SBS. Aside from an eye witness, how can we know for *certain* that a baby has been shaken/abused? As a parent, the idea of being falsely accused of abuse is terrifying. We, your readers, of course know none of the details of Daisy's case. But "what if"? What if there are other explanations? What if there is no other evidence of abuse? The idea of false child abuse is just as scary as real child abuse! I wish there was more medical certainty.

Cherub Mamma said...

There have been admissions in Daisy's case of shaking. Admissions.

Granted, the family is now saying it was all an accident. They are trying to blame it all on doing CPR wrong.

And I realize that there is a very, very small chance that SOME children diagnosed with SBS were not shaken. Doctors are not perfect. I've read stories like the one you linked to.

But children are hurt and killed by by abusive head trauma. Daisy almost died. And her bio dad is to blame.

There's a video on YouTube called "Forever Shaken". It's an eye opener to the damage of Shaken Baby Syndrome.