I spent a good part of yesterday crying in my office. I'm having to cover for a child welfare attorney who is out of the office. I didn't expect to have to do much other than sign a few documents. Instead I got pulled into an emergency meeting first thing yesterday morning.
Two babies, one not much younger than my own. A call to EMS because the youngest is found unresponsive in a bathtub, where the #^(&% parents left he and his sibling unattended. Who the hell leaves two children under 2 in the tub alone? The baby was airlifted to our children's hospital where he is in a coma with a 1% chance of survival. I got to work on the paperwork, and see the pictures of this adorable little baby on all sorts of tubes.
There are the complicated legal and medical tidbits that serve to distract me for a few minutes - no evidence of water in the lungs, so what happened? If he didn't drown, what caused it? Can we prove the parents did it? Is leaving a child alone in the tub alone enough to take custody (I decided it was). Parents want to take the baby off life support, so do we take custody before then (in which case we have to make the DNR decision) or leave custody with the parents and let them be responsible - do they deserve that responsibility? Will it haunt them the rest of their life like it will if I have to do it?
All I can say is hug your children tight. Be very thankful to those that have the calling to work with abused children - it is definitely a calling and not something I want to do. If you're the praying type, pray for this little one. There was a slight improvement over the night in his condition. The next day is critical. And remind me that murder is not legal so I need to keep my hands off the parents.