How did our nephew end up in our care? His first 14 months were frightening; no baby should have to endure what he went though. The stuff we know about is atrocious, but I worry what else we may have endured that really scares me.
I received guardianship from the mother, but CPS made it clear that she could revoke it at any time. She stated that she wasn't cabable of taking care of him. Originally when we agreed to take him, we thought it was just be for a couple months until she could get on her feet.
I had concerns of meth exposure; I’d heard the mother smokes it often. I took him to a doctor for his first Well Baby check-up to be immunized. The doctor ordered a hair follicle meth test because of my concerns of docile behavior and rashes all over his body, and a cough that didn't seem to be related to a cold.
At the testing facility, I asked what the chances were that 2nd hand meth smoke would show up. They said the chances are pretty slim unless she smoked often in an enclosed room, with him on her lap. The test results would show his exposure level over the previous 3 months while in her care.
When the results came back, we were baffled. Hair follicle meth tests range from 0-10,000. 1-500 is considered 2nd hand smoke. 7,000 is a daily user. His level was at 2200 – that of a recreational meth user. So high, he may have ingested the drug. You’d think those results would be the nail in the coffin to her parental rights. Unfortunately in the state of Utah, this is not considered abuse. No mother who poisons her child with meth, should be called a mother.
We'd heard there had also been physical abuse, but we did not have any evidence. After all, a little innocent baby can’t talk. We know the mother is very abusive and currently has multiple assault charges against her. Even if she stays clean for a while, we still fear for his life because of her violent and erratic behavior.
DCFS designated supervised visitation, but because the Guardianship was given to me, she could still revoke it. On August 5th she figured that out and was threatening to take him to with her to Florida.
That same day a witness came forward with physical abuse that took place before we received the guardianship. The judge then granted a protective order and hearings in just a couple of weeks.
Is this the whole story? Of course not, we can go on and on with several stories of neglect, but we'll spare you the details.
He’s currently safe in our care but we have to go to court to keep him safe. We are starting with a goal of $6,000 to cover the retainer fee and current expenses. We’ll adjust the goal if the price increases. So far the expenses are only at $770.00, but we expect that price to increase greatly as we involve a lawyer and go to court. I’ve been given estimates as high as $20,000 to fight this. If for some reason we don’t use all the money that is raised, it will go towards a college fund for Liam.
We want to break the cycle and give Liam a chance to have a life full of opportunities and love. We’ve spent time nourishing Liam back to good health and teaching him Baby Signing so he can communicate his needs until he’s able to talk. Liam has bonded with us and we will continue to treat him as if he was our own child.
We have been married just over 1 year, but we've been best friends for 12 years. We hadn’t planned on starting a family yet, but we welcome him with loving arms. Our relationship is very loving, with great communication and we never argue or fight. Liam has his own bedroom, and our home is clean and smoke-free. We are healthy, active, love to explore the outdoors and want to show Liam the world.
Simon and Angela
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