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           Mind Slap

Telling the story how I see it

Noelia

     A beautiful six month old baby girl, looking up at me scared and crying in the company provided car seat with no baby blankets or toys to keep her comfortable for the long ride from the shelter to foster care.

Knowing that she was scared and had been through so much already, as she lay in her seat in the back of the car I begin to sing her name to her. It really didn't matter if the words changed she begin to find comfort in my voice. Not sure if she was relieved or just puzzled, she did stop crying. She finally looked at me while we were driving down one of most desolate country roads in Texas. This beautiful hazel eyed little girl smiled at me.

I pulled the car into an old gas station Noelia and I stop for something to drink and call the foster home to let them know we were almost there. After delicately checking to make sure was comfortable, dry and giving her a bottle and some animal crackers we continue on.

     The foster home was beautiful, large five bedroom home that sit about a mile down its own private driveway. The yard was perfectly landscaped with two large trees in the front. The grass was green and flowers were surrounding the entire yard. As I drove into the circular driveway the door opens. Two of the most spectacular people walked out to greet Noelia and I. The male unbuckled the car seat and begins to remove the car seat. Noelia cries I walk over to her and begin to sing her name. I asked the foster father if he wouldn't mind me taking her inside. He agreed. The foster parents then begin to remove her bag from the car.

Once inside we begin to discuss the weekly schedule for Noelia. I would be coming to pick her up and drive her to visit her biological parents. Noelia would begin court ordered visitation with her parents.

Noelia

6Mo old Argentinian female

16 fractured bones

removed from parents at the emergency room at the request of medical staff and police officers

Noelia was removed from her biological parents after the emergency room called the police, The report filed stated that there was a six month old child that appeared to be in extreme pain brought into the emergency room. The parents were not speaking any English when the police arrived. Soon after Children and family protective services hospital addition is also in the emergency room. The worker is also bilingual and begins to question the parents about what has happened to the child. The parents have told the worker that they believe Noelia had fallen while in the care of her mother.

The parents have no proof of this and are asked to leave the hospital and they will be contacted by the court. The parents were not arrested for abuse or endangering a child. There was not enough evidence to support this fact. There was also not enough evidence

to support the claims the parents had made that the child had fallen while in the care of her mother. She was removed for protection until the incident could be cleared up further.

First Week no visitation

Second Week court date

Parents attorney request Noelia be at court.

I drive to the foster home to pick her up, She has cast on both her legs and both her arms. Dresses in all yellow today pretty as a picture I immediately begin smiling at her when I see her. As I walk closer to her I begin to say her name Noelia, how are you today? Are you ready to go for a ride? Lets take your toy, huh lets go Noelia.

Sweet baby girl rides peacefully to the courthouse, I remove her from the car take her inside for the hearing and to visit with her parents. It has been two weeks since they have seen her their attorney requested that they see her because they have not been charged with a crime. The judge allowed a visit before the proceedings in a room next to the courtroom. Once she was in the room with them she became irritated and upset the judge ended the visit. I drove her back to the foster home. The judge ordered weekly visits for one hour or Noelia got upset.

Week 3 the visit was very short, Noelia is still in her cast, she doesn't like to be moved very much. Her parents want to pick her up out of her seat. At this point my job is to observe I need to see if they are going to make good choices. The best choice would be for them to leave her laying down but they don't realize this yet. When the visit starts they try to pick her up she cries. The mom tries

rocking her. She cries louder and I intervene. I remove Noelia from her mother and place he back into her car seat. She cries as we begin to get back into the car.