Slim and Franke

Slim and Franke

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

LASTING IMAGE

Look at the picture above and imagine that the dog is bigger and the child is  much smaller.  That is what I saw driving home. I could have hit the child and it scared me to death.  Basically an infant about 18 months old, in the middle of the road.

It was a cold day and the toddler's cheeks were bright red. He was wearing footie pajamas and was obviously lost. Meanwhile a man in a nearby field was heading for the child as quickly as he could.  He spoke sweetly to the frightened child and was able to scoop him up. Neither of us knew the child or where it belonged.

We did the best thing we could and that was to follow the dog.  At the top of the hill the dog went to a house where front door was standing wide open.  The man carried the child inside the house yelling for someone while I sat outside and honked my horn. No one appeared and the man was walking out with the child when suddenly a woman came running from the back of the house wearing only a t-shirt and seemed surprised this man was carrying her son. Obviously she had no idea her child had even been gone. 

The man informed me she said she was the child's mother.  His family all lives in that area and owns the land and the house.  He knew that she wasn't supposed to be living there and said he would investigate it and he would take responsibility. I left reluctantly, making sure he knew my name and where I lived in case I would be needed to testify about the event.            

After calling a few of the other neighbors I learned this was not the first time this small child had been seen unattended in the road.  I went back to my co-rescuer to express my concern.   I felt the need to call the authorities and he said that he would support me in doing whatever my conscience called for. I would have liked to go to the child's home and check  but I feared drugs might be involved.  In hindsight I wish I had called the county sheriff right then.

I knew I could not sleep if something were to happen to that child.  I knew it was simply a miracle that we had gotten the baby out of the road and the next time might not be so fortunate. I call the Department of Human Services and they referred me to the hot-line which I called and gave a report. They gave me an incident number and in a few days I can call back and find out what if anything was done.  I can only pray it has been handled and the child is safe. I will let you know.

UPDATE:  Yesterday I talked to the case worker from Human Services who assured me that he went to the home and investigated.  It seems the front door of the home was faulty and would not close properly.  He oversaw the repair to the door and was assured this would never happen again.  He believed that his visit put the fear of god in the mother.  That was all he could tell me except to thank me for calling and assuring me they would keep a close watch on the home. I also have  his direct line if I see the child out again unattended.

45 comments:

  1. Oh Annie - thank God for you and that man! And good that you called and reported it - that baby is not being looked after, but hopefully the system will work and help will arrive for him. Scary.

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    1. Lynn, I will never forget going over that hill and seen such a tiny child in the middle of the road. It is still chilling just to recall that image.

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  2. This is kind of what happened with my grandsons. My son was on a mission for two weeks. His wife was in a major depressive state. The older child got up and got himself off to school leaving the door unlocked. The younger child (2 years old) got up and decided to go for a walk. He was wearing a soiled night diaper and blanket footie pajamas. The state of Massachusetts took both children out of the house and stymied any progress on getting them back in their home, in the end giving the reason that my daughter-in-law is mentally ill and my son is in the military. Finally my son and his wife gave up parental rights so they could be adopted by my daughter-in-laws father. He has had them in Florida for over a year now and the State of Massachusetts has postponed the adoption hearing five times. I'm glad you don't live in Massachusetts.

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    1. Lisa, what a sad story. Do you get to see the grandchildren at all?

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  3. What a story, but one that is heard all too often. Fortunate is was that this time you were there and absolutely right that you reported this. Also fortunate there does seem to be one "responsible adult" in that child's home--that dog.

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    1. Olga, you are so right about that dog. It is probably the only responsible adult in the family.

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  4. Thank goodness you were there and you are so right to have reported it. I sure hope they get on that case right away. Please let us know what you find out.

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    1. Patti, I am hoping that if I call tomorrow they'll have something good to report.

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  5. This post read like fiction and I did not expect to learn you were directly involved, but so thankful now that you were.

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    1. Ileana, it was definitely a harrowing experience. Too bad it wasn't fiction.

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  6. Thank goodness for those that will step up and do, rather than ignore! Please let us know what happens.

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    1. Brighid, I am a little embarrassed that I didn't call the authorities right then and there. My son said it's a good thing Ron wasn't there or he would have grabbed the child taking it to safety and gone back and shot the mother. That is just a joke. He wouldn't have hurt anyone but he would have been so upset.

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  7. Thank you so much for who you are.
    This reminds me of a story my mother told. She pulled into our carport shortly before dusk one day. Parked the car and got out. To find a toddler asleep on the concrete floor inches from her front wheel. She threw up and went looking for the child's mother. Who, when found, 'wondered where he was because she hadn't seen him for a couple of hours'.
    I so hope that someone (as well as you) steps in to keep this child safe.

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    1. E.C., oh my goodness your poor mother. I know why she threw up because it is nauseating to see. Wow what a close call for that baby.

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  8. I once found a young child still in diapers walking down our street. Police were called and arrived. Several minutes later the mother shows up blaming her older son. (sigh)

    But your story is frightening. Should I be thankful for the dog, his protector? I am. But what is more sad is this child that didn't ask to be born into any of this. I wonder what his fate will be?

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    1. Birdie, I wonder the same. It is interesting to see others that have stories about a child in danger. We don't even begin to know what goes on in this world. When I call the hotline to report the abuse they had to put me on hold. I thought how many people are calling in with these kinds of stories.

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  9. You and that man are Heros~!!! thank God for both of you.
    I know you've already gone above and beyond but the system is overworked and understaffed, so please keep calling them for updates or that case could be shuffled to the bottom since the child wasn't physically harmed/beaten abused? I mean.

    tears of sadness for that child and tears of Rage about that- dare I even call her Mother.grrrrrr so according to what I read she isnt really supposed to be living there- one approached, if it even happens, she split and it would be more time and manpower than is usually available to hunt for her.
    I pray that child's gaurdian angel stays close by him..

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    1. Sonny, I have feared that the woman and child probably moved that same day and can't be located. The house was supposed to be occupied by a young man who was a family member but nobody knew who the woman and child were. He will probably not share that information. But I don't know maybe there will be a good outcome for mother and child. I will certainly let everyone know.

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    2. Sonny, I have feared that the woman and child probably moved that same day and can't be located. The house was supposed to be occupied by a young man who was a family member but nobody knew who the woman and child were. He will probably not share that information. But I don't know maybe there will be a good outcome for mother and child. I will certainly let everyone know.

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  10. This is a chilling story that happens all too often. So many children have nobody who really cares and watches out for them. Hopefully there will be more good samaritans in this child's life - it sometimes does take a village to raise a child.

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  11. Because of past experience the first thing I think is drugs. Good for people like you who are concerned for the welfare of the child. But druggies can also be dangerous to people trying to help their children.

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  12. And you know the awful thing about this is that that if social services get involved the child could be placed with loving adoptive parents who would love the child and care for him, but the social workers will still do everything they can to keep the child with the birth mother, even if that means he's in real danger.

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  13. Barb, it is my sincere prayer for good Samaritans to look after this child. I am thankful that we were there to help. Sadly the woman did not even seem appreciative. I would have been hugging that man and shouting thanks to me but she just took her child and went back in her house.

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  14. Jan, I have no doubt that drugs were involved in some way. Meth making and using is a big crime around here. I hate that drug more than anything.

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  15. Joe, sadly I believe you are right. I cannot imagine how the courts can put so many infants and toddlers back in the hands of their abusers. I hope I will get a good follow up story from DHS.

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  16. You are a blessing! Thank you for your concern and actions. We need more of you to watch out for our innocent ones.

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    1. Changes, when faced with an infant in the road I didn't do any differently than anyone else would have done. It's definitely not a matter you could overlook.

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  17. I was getting goosebumps as I was reading. Oh my God. What a nerve touching experience you must have had. I am still nervous.

    You and that gentleman are both God sent. I cannot imagine what could have happened to the kid. How can people be so negligent. How can their mind be not with the kid at all times.

    People told me that I was over protective when my kids were younger. Now I realize that there is no such thing as being over protective. I wish that I could do some thing to make sure that no kid wanders around by himself all exposed to elements of nature and bad people as well.

    I think you have done a thing that brings blessings to mankind. Thanks.

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    1. Munir, like you I was very over protective of my children. I would have thought that woman would have been so grateful but she didn't seem to comprehend the close call her baby had.

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    2. Munir, like you I was very over protective of my children. I would have thought that woman would have been so grateful but she didn't seem to comprehend the close call her baby had.

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  18. Wow! You may well be a life saver there! Great story- hope there's a good ending

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    1. S.T., we definitely got that child out of the road just in time before an unknown vehicle came over the top of the hill

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    2. S.T., we definitely got that child out of the road just in time before an unknown vehicle came over the top of the hill

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  19. Oh, Annie...I do so hope that dear, innocent little child will be okay...will be safe. Thank goodness for you and than man came across the poor little soul.

    Some people should not have children. There are so many who desperately want to have a child of their own to care for and love unconditionally...and then there are those who just don't give a damn! And the innocent children are the ones who suffer...and they are scared for the rest of their lives.

    I do so hope this little fellow will be taken care of and loved the way he should be loved and cared for.

    Thank you, on his behalf, for your concern and your actions.

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    1. Lee, it often seems that the only reason some people have children is because they get money from the government. The more kids the more money with little concern for the child

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    2. Lee, it often seems that the only reason some people have children is because they get money from the government. The more kids the more money with little concern for the child

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  20. Good gosh! Thank you for being there for that child and getting involved. This is so scary.

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  21. My GOD. What parent thinks this is OK??? One who is on drugs? Miracle that kid is OK. I hope you both called child protective services.

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  22. Oh man. That's very distressing. It's awful when one feels helpless in such a situation. One of my coworkers has grandchildren through one of her sons, and they are working on a court order to get the kids taken away from the neglectful mother/ex-wife. I get updates here and there, and it's a very sad story.

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  23. Kay, weren't you a school teacher? I am guessing you saw lots of sad situations with children, especially in Chicago.

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  24. Riot Kitty, I am the only one who called. Guess the man who lived right next door didn't want to alienate his neighbors.

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  25. Spark, many of my friends are raising their grandchildren because the children got involved with drugs. It is a sad, sad situation.

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  26. UPDATE: Yesterday I talked to the case worker from Human Services who assured me that he went to the home and investigated. It seems the front door of the home was faulty and would not close properly. He oversaw the repair to the door and was assured this would never happen again. He believed that his visit put the fear of god in the mother. That was all he could tell me except to thank me for calling and assuring me they would keep a close watch on the home. I also have his direct line if I see the child out again unattended.

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  27. My girls used to fuss about how watchful my husband and I were as parents, but now that they're young women, they're grateful to us for keeping them safe. They've seen some of their friends, who had awful parents, turn around and make awful parents themselves. A tragedy is right around the corner when a young child is left wandering by itself.

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  28. God bless you for that Annie.

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