broken heart

Baby M – permission to visit withdrawn

I didn’t know when I got a call a month ago regarding a newborn baby girl with Trisomy 21 whose parents didn’t want her that getting involved was going to break my heart again…and again…and again.

I didn’t know that it would bring me under attack and accusation, that I would be treated like a criminal and even threatened with jail.

I didn’t know how very, very hard I would have to work to let go of my anger and blame towards those involved, how hard it would be to balance staying involved and respecting my own emotional boundaries, how I could invest so much of myself into helping and then be forced to walk away and still trust that G-d is protecting this baby.

But I’ve done it.  And I’ve grown a lot through this process.

This has been a dramatic and gut wrenching situation to be part of and every day there are changes in this situation that make it an emotional roller coaster.  Sometimes I feel like I’m living in the Twilight Zone.

  • Yesterday a senior staff member from the institution where Baby M is called and cried when she told me how sorry she is how badly I’ve been treated.  (This was after receiving a very sanitized update from the management.)
  • Yesterday I got a call from a social worker that social services was aware of my involvement and was seeking more information about me.
  • Yesterday an emergency meeting was held by social services to determine what to do for Baby M.
  • Yesterday approval for me to visit Baby M was withdrawn by the parents.

And that is where the situation stands now.  Though I’m now unable to physically be there for Baby M (Malka bas Esther), I will continue to pray that the final outcome be for the highest and best good for all involved.


10 thoughts on “Baby M – permission to visit withdrawn

  1. Avivah, I am so so sorry that you are going through this!! All of us who know you, know that you had only the baby’s best interest in mind. I’m sorry for the heartbreak you are going through. May Hash-m give you the strength to continue to be kind and giving. May HaSh-m bless Malka bas Esther with all that she needs. ((Hugs))

  2. really so sorry you had such a sad and I would call it traumatic experience, when all you and your family wanted to do was help. I really cannot understand the parents. they are really in pain and maybe detached but thats a different story.
    may your family have a shana tova, u’metuka, with good health, simchas hachaim, parnassa, chessed and continue to reach out to pple in need.

    may baby m. be raised with a family who will give her all the love and help and warmth she and every child deserve.

    may the parents of baby m. realize their baby needs alot of love, in all ways, and do the right thing. wether in raising her themselves or finding a family that can assure that she will receive all the love she needs. and not leave her in that cold institution for another second.

  3. We are davening for you and for Malka bas Esther. As Rosh Hashana approaches, the true Judge knows the good that’s in your heart. HUGS.

  4. All I can say, is to repeat the above posters.

    May Hashem watch over Baby M, and you, and give you all healing and comfort in the new year.

    Hashem runs the world, and we don’t always know why we are in a certain situation at a certain time. Just know that you were exactly where you were meant to be.

    {{{Huge hugs to you}}}

  5. In the 1980s I was in misgav ladach hospital (no longer in business) recovering from yet another 2nd trimester pregnancy loss and feeling bereft. At that time there was an Israeli couple who had been living in the US expecting their first child. When they found out through prenatal testing that their baby would have congenital problems they immediately flew to Israel to have their baby, abandoned it in misgav ladach, and returned to the US to resume their lives as if nothing had,happened. The baby had a severe hernia in its groin, a serious heart condition (both correctable), and brain damage. Because of the latter and because he’d been abandoned, no surgeries would attempt to save his life. He was expected to die quickly. Only he didnt. Now he was a “problem.”
    Perhaps because of my pregnancy loss (and a difficult emergency surgery) I was especially drawn to Baby S. I would visit him and hold him all day in the nursery. Mind you he was 4 months old at this point. He was still there because the institutions weren’t taking him for legal and medical reasons. Although he was considered a “vegetable” he soon clearly recognized me and certain nurses. I wanted to foster him but was told that wasn’t possible. He got zero visits or contact from relatives. Once I was released from the hospital I used to travel 15 km daily to visit him during the winter, even making it when snow shut down Jerusalem.
    And then one day when he was 5 months old, he was gone. I was told that the grandmother of the baby finally came to see him and decided to take him home to die. As a relative she had the power to decide if he would get the surgeries but she decided due to his brain damage that he would not. He died 3 weeks later due to his cardiac condition. He had an unmarked grave. The family just hoped to forget the whole traumatic episode and move on. His parents had never even seen him. He was a beautiful blond baby and I will not forget baby S. The nurses and I had held him, talked to him, loved him and grieved for him. It is painful to think his death may have been prevented but I know his time on earth was not wasted. Sometimes we cannot do all that we want to do, we can only try our best.

  6. Hugs… You have given so much to change the outcome. It does not help but I am sure you did the best you could. We can only hope that finds a loving home.

  7. Kethiva veChathima tova to Malka bath Esther & her parents & to Avivah Werner. B”SD
    May HaShem bless all w/clarity to make the best decisions & take the best actions. I feel numb.

  8. I am so sorry Avivah, this is so incredibly heartbreaking. Davening for you and Baby M. I am sure Hashem will pour a lot of blessing into your life through all of this. You are an amazing person! Wishing you and you family a very sweet new year, full of simcha and may you know no more sorrow. ksiva v’chasima tova!

  9. Oh Avivah. Just as well that a big heart can stand a lot of breaking, eh ?

    I can’t help but think that this situation just would not have occurred had it not been for people who perpetuate the myth that non-neurotypical equals faulty, and that faulty equals disposable.

    I don’t know – if I had been in that mother’s shoes twenty years ago when my daughter was born, being told by everyone I had been taught to trust that my daughter was not fit for “normal” life and I should give up on her… And then another mother turned up on the scene and demonstrated how wrong my advisors were – I can see how it would be easier to direct all my upset and pain at a stranger, rather than accepting that those I knew and trusted might be wrong.

    Sometimes people around us shout so loudly that we can not hear that still, small voice that is the one we should be listening to above all others. I hope that Baby M’s parents are given some quiet for long enough to hear it, so they can choose to do what’s genuinely best for their daughter, rather than what anyone else thinks is best.

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