I'm pretty disheartened today.
I read a story earlier about a couple. Both were blind. They had, a day after I had Keira, a lovely little girl. The mom got to "see" her baby emerge by feeling her crowning, and was so ecstatic to hear her newborn daughter's first whimpers and cries. The mom and dad were overjoyed by their new daughter, and the mom immediately tried to breastfeed her. In doing so, she accidentally covered her daughter's nostrils with part of her breast.
Now, as anyone who has larger breasts knows, this happens. You learn to adjust. It's part of mastering breastfeeding.
The nurse who saw it didn't think so, though.
Instead of helping the mom, she notated in her file that the "child was without proper custody, support, or care due to both parents being blind."
When their daughter was 2 years old, she was taken away from her parents and placed into foster care. The parents were only allowed to see their child 2-3 times a week under the supervision of a foster parent. For 57 days.
Imagine, if you will, having your newborn whisked away. Having your beautiful baby taken from you before you can have the time to bond with her. Not being able to smell her babyness, or kiss her, or tend to her cries. For 57 days. Because someone has deemed you unfit without any allegations of abuse or neglect or anything.
That, my readers, is criminal.
This happened in my state, the state of Missouri. The state in which I frequently see 2-3 year old children riding in the front seat of cars, not only not in carseats, but not in seatbelts. The state in which I - daily - see people leave their children unattended in cars - even now, in the summer, during excessive heat warnings - while they go into stores, gas stations, or what have you. For sometimes 10-15 minutes at a time. I have seen people hit their children with belts in public places and seen others cheering them on. I know someone whose children are with an abusive parent who regularly flouts the court dictated rules, whose children are terrified to be with them, but are still entrusted to their care.
Yet, the state never seems to intervene on those.
However, these two blind people? Their daughter was removed from my home. When Rhiannon wasn't gaining weight "properly," Mike and I were investigated. And there are a billion other cases like that - places where the state decides to step in unnecessarily.
It's fucked up.
I don't understand the way the system works. I just don't get it. It goes against the whole truth and justice thing that I've always believed in.
You can read the story of the state of Missouri's grievous error here. Thankfully, she is back together with her parents now, where she belongs. But I can't help but wonder how many more parents are suffering away from their children, or being looked at harshly, while the actual bad parents who could use the intervention, slip through the system.