By Diane Ponist
Have you ever watched the news or a movie where something terrible happens to a child? You shake your head and it even brings tears to your eyes seeing and hearing the horrible things that have happened to this child. You think to yourself I couldn’t imagine what I would do, I would hurt someone if anyone ever touched my child. Well our 6th child, 5th foster, is one of those stories. The difference is her parents are the ones that harmed her and left her for dead.
I wrote a few weeks ago about how we acquired 6 children, I didn’t really go into to detail on the story of how she came to us. “Natalie” was born 1pound at birth, no drugs ironically in her system, just simply was supposed to be a miscarriage. The bio apparently was disappointed Natalie survived birth. She was hospitalized for her first full year of life; she wasn’t expected to live more than a few hours, let alone a year. Finally the nurses and doctors stabilized her and treated Natalie until she was healthy. Natalie was released from the hospital to her parents care after her first birthday, once her weight was acceptable and she was breathing on her own.
Even though her life-threatening year was past her, she went into more atrocious conditions to make matters a lot worse. For whatever reason, she was not wanted by her bios. So they kept Natalie a secret and hid her from the world. They carried on their life as though she was never there. Until one day, a neighbor noticed an obscene odor coming from the house…here is a snippet from the local news story that received national attention.
Two parents are under arrest after their children were found living in filth. Both mom and dad were arrested Friday and face a slew of charges including aggregated assault, endangerment of a child and criminal conspiracy. Tonight, we are learning new details about the horrific conditions that these children were living in. A neighbor shows us a picture of a child’s dirty and disgusting bed that he saw thrown out from the home.
“I don’t think any kid should be living like this,” says the neighbor as he shows the picture he snatched with his phone. “There are dirt stains all over.”
The District Attorney’s office tells us that two young children, 17 months and three years old, were living in that filth. Investigators say that the baby was found sitting in her own feces and had a rash on her body that wasn’t treated. She also weighed 13 pounds, which prosecutors explain is still relatively low, despite the fact that she was born premature.
“It’s shocking because I didn’t know they were living like that,” says the neighbor.
The children’s parents, 29-year-old and 28-year-old, were arrested nearly two weeks after the horrific discovery.
Police explain that a neighbor reported the deplorable conditions to the Department of Human Services.
Some neighbors, however, didn’t even know that children lived at the York Street home.
“Every time I walked outside I only saw adults out there. That’s wrong,” says neighbor ReaRea.
We tried to speak to the family, but no one came to the door.
“I saw them the next day. I think they moved or they moved out all their furniture,” says a neighbor.
Now some neighbors wonder how they could have stopped this from happening.
“I definitely would have tried to help anyway. I could If I knew,” says the neighbor.
Sources tell that the children are now the hands of DHS. As for the parents, they are each being held on $300,000 bail.
After she was removed from the bios she was hospitalized again. These conditions caused her lower intestines to burst internally. She received emergency surgery and was given a G-tube. At that point Natalie was placed in her first foster home with her brother. Unfortunately that was too a nightmare, just when things were supposed to get better, that was not the case.
Natalie was visited by human services, unexpectedly, after 10 months in foster care. The case worker recognized doctors’ appointments were being missed and wanted to look in to why. When human services arrived to the foster home, Natalie and her brother were locked in separate bedrooms! Natalie was in a crib at all times locked behind a closed door. The brother the same way just in a separate bedroom locked in the basement. Human services left with both children that day. Unfortunately the 2 children had to be separated due to the severe neglect and abuse. It was too much of a challenge for one foster family to assist both children at the same time.
Natalie is nonverbal, they originally said autism and we say neglect. She was brought to our house four weeks ago. She is finally gaining weight after being removed from the G-tube. She is starting to repeat words and now laughs uncontrollably. She hugs often and now turns her head when you call her name, she is getting used to human interaction. This amazing fighter will be 3 years old in February; it’s our goal that Natalie is an average 3 year old girl by then. Natalie is finally loved; we have no doubt that she will be right on track for the first time in her life.