Our Adoption Journey!

A journal of our thoughts, feelings and steps in the process of adopting a child with significant special needs.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Guardianship Experience Journal

9:19am April 6, 2017

I get a frantic and tearful call from B (AJ's mom) stating that she wants to sign him over to me, she doesn't know what to do, but M (AJ's dad) was violent with her the previous night and has left after the police were called. I had just been to the dentist with Ethan and was on my way to take him back to school and told her I would come immediately after dropping Ethan at school. I arrived close to 10:30am to find B an erratic blubbering mess. I tried to console her, but she was already completely detached from the situation. AJ was at a friends home in the same apartment complex and we went to collect him. I buckled him in my carseat and B handed me 2 bags of things for him. I told her I would not allow her to sign him over to me in that state of mind, but that I would keep him safe until she was ready to take him back. She couldn't even make eye contact with him. I had her write a quick note allowing me to seek medical care for him. He was sick and had been prescribed an antibiotic on Tuesday the same week (it was Thursday and he had not gotten his morning dose yet). He was extremely congested, lethargic, and not eating much at all. B said she was self admitting to the hospital to get treatment and should be out in a few days but planned that he would be with me for 4-7 days.

I took AJ back to the doctor the following day as his symptoms were worsening when they should have been improving on his 4th day on antibiotics. The dr. thought it was just a cold and recommended an infant safe cough medicine to help with his symptoms, which we promptly purchased and started him on and it did help.

Almost a week passed and we did not hear from B. Although we had spoken some with M regarding the situation.

On the 8th day B called and said she was out of the hospital but couldn't care for AJ she wanted to visit, so we arranged a visit so both B and M could visit AJ in a neutral environment, which occurred on day 9. B appeared very drugged and keyed up, the visit lasted about 90 minutes after which M took B to get some supplies for AJ. B said she would visit Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the following week and then stated she would take him home the following Monday, April 24th.

We gave M $60.00 for gas so that he could come visit AJ on April 16th, he cared for AJ the majority of the time he was with us and I taught him some soothing techniques and developmentally appropriate activities/play. M did relay the events of the night of April 5th and admitted he had thrown B off the bed onto her daughters bed (on top of her daughter). We also assisted him with information and paperwork to petition to have his name added to AJ's birth certificate.

April 16th B called to complain about M (never really calls to ask about AJ) she also cancelled her visit for the 17th stating she had an appointment with her councilor and rescheduled for the 18th.
On the 17th she called and stated she was still waiting to get an appointment with her councilor (who she stated the previous day she had an appointment scheduled for that day being the reason she couldn't come visit AJ) she also stated she forgot she had a dr. appointment for the 18th and couldn't come then either (we later found out that it was a salon appointment, not a dr. appointment).
on April 19th B came for a visit and to bring formula and sign a temporary guardianship form. AJ was asleep when she arrived so we went to the bank to get form notarized, and store to pick up formula. By the time we got back she was so emotional she said she did not want to see AJ like that, so she left without a visit. the following day she canceled her visit scheduled for Friday. At this point, AJ had been with us 2 weeks and had seen his mother only 90 minutes in that entire time.

April 22, 2017, M arrived for a visit. He again attended to the majority of AJ's needs. He stayed the night, however, I took care of the 3am feed and 6am feed/diapering. M visited for a few more hours before leaving

April 24th B arrived for a visit at 11:40am, she appeared less drugged and more coherent but style very manic/hyper stimulated. We discussed her progress and I expressed concern about her ability to care for AJ at that point and she agreed she was not ready yet and asked that he stay another week. She visited for approximately 1 hr 45 minutes.

this week was filled with fighting and confrontation/conflict between B and M regarding custody, responsibilities and the birth certificate, but on Friday April 28th we all met together (so I could mediate) and paperwork was signed to add M's name to the birth certificate and a document with agreed visits and responsibilities etc. this visit lasted a bit over an hour, then B and M left together to visit vital records. After this point neither parent visited, and most calls were to complain abut the other parent/conflicts etc. I explained to both parents that I was not meant to be in the middle of their issues, that I was just there to keep AJ safe and care for him. B kept pushing out the date to take AJ back, and M repeatedly accused me of trying to steal his child (though I had tried to get B to take him home several times). During this time I had sacrificed a lot to be able to care for AJ. The week following taking him in, I had two teeth break, which was extremely painful, but I did not go to the dentist because I had no one to care for AJ.. I also stopped taking my fertility meds so that we could afford the expense of his diapers, formula, supplies which we have spent hundreds of dollars on at this point and have not been reimbursed a single penny. I was taking abuse from M on a daily basis about AJ being in our care and him threatening to come take the baby (this would have been kidnapping as he was not the custodial parent). I tried very hard to get a transition plan in place so the AJ would not have to go through the trauma of changing caregivers and situation overnight but have a gradual change. However, on May 17th, while looking for AJ's nail clippers I discovered a baggy of unknown medication/drugs in his diaper bag, which had been under the crib the entire 7 week stay. I started to try to find out what the pills were, and at the same time asked B what they were, who initially told me they were vitamins, despite the fact that I already knew they were barbituates. I did tell her at that time, that I would have to make a report as we were mandatory reporters and I was not only concerned for AJ's safety but for her daughters, who would have had easy access to the diaperbag. The drugs in question were identified as Capacet and were not prescribed to B, and B never admitted responsibility and immediately picked up AJ after I had filed a report and spoken with police. We don't know how AJ is adjusting, or if he is even still with B. B has since blocked my text messages etc. We love and miss AJ tremendously and pray daily' that he will have a safe and happy life.