Most everyone has heard Justina Pelletier's story. Taken from her family because they disagreed with one group of doctors and wanted to stay with another group of doctors. Then power mad government agencies step in and a 16 year old is kidnapped from her family for 16 months.
The good news is that for now at least, justice has prevailed. Justina is going home. And while that is truly great news, don't let it fool you into thinking this sort of thing is going away. Let me tell you our own little run in with government bullies.
10 years ago, when our youngest was born, we were thrilled. After having lost two children following our third baby, we thought we were done with having children. But 8 years later, along comes this little guy. What a joy.
However, after a few weeks we noticed things weren't going so well. He seemed to be losing weight instead of gaining, and just didn't look good. He acted fine, ate fine, etc. We called his doctor's office and were told that as long as he was eating and filling diapers, he was fine. A week or so later, we were still concerned and asked the doctor to please look at him.
Once the doctor finally saw him, he decided that maybe he wasn't getting the nutrition he needed from mom's breast milk, and told us that we needed to start a formula regimen. That was a Friday. The doctor said that we should come back on Monday, and if there was no imporovement, our son would be hospitalized. Mom didn't want to give up breastfeeding, but knew we needed to do what was best for him.
So we started the formula, but even moreso, we started praying. Our church prayed, our family prayed, our friends prayed. And when we took him back on Monday, he had gained like 12 ounces! That's just unheard of. The doctor was amazed. He couldn't believe the turnaround. He credited the formula, but we credited God. Either way, things were good and no hospital stay was required. We thought things were good. Well...
A week or so later we come home from church one Wednesday and there is a card on our door from a DFS worker. Not even thinking about our little boy, we assumed someone must have questioned our kids being at home during the day, and not liking homeschoolers or something, they reported us. To be on the safe side, we contacted Homeschool Legal Defense Association, whom we have a membership with, and they agreed to make a call or two for us.
Turns out, someone from the doctors office called DFS claiming they have to report all cases of "failure to thrive" in babies. No one told us that, but there it is. We told the DFS worker that we appreciated the concern, but we took our son to the doctor on our own, he was under a doctor's care and doing fine, and we would gladly give them the medical records to prove it. Apparently that's not enough.
The DFS worker told us that they needed to have a home visit with us to make sure our other children were being fed properly. I was astounded. This one issue with our baby, one that we had to plead with the doctor to address in the first place, and now they were suggesting that we weren't caring for our other 3 kids.
We refused their "offer" of a home visit, and the next Wednesday after church we came home to find the card of a county sheriff's deputy on our door. I called the number immediately and asked what the problem was and was told the the DFS supervisor had sent them to our house to force a home visit. Force! For no reason at all. When I called the DFS supervisor, she threatened to remove all our children unless we complied.
Now, the HSLDA told us that since this wasn't technically a homeschool issue they couldn't get fully invovled, but they did offer advice, and even wrote some official sounding letters to the DFS telling them to cease and desist (what a blessing they are!) We arranged for the DFS worker to "view" our other children on a neutral site (my church office) and also had several church members present who all reported that they had been in our home, witnessed our parenting, etc. and that all was well.
Remember, we had done nothing wrong. Our baby wasn't doing well, which we went to the doctor about. He was currently under that doctor's care, was doing remarkably well, and needed no further treatment. But we were still treated like criminals, to the extent that I was told my "record" would show an "accusation" of "child neglect" for the next five years!
In spite of all our accommodating to the DFS folks, even though the worker was apologetic and told me she didn't think any of this was necessary, the supervisor still tried to keep pushing things, harassing us. I finally had to call our state representative, who contacted the state DFS office, who eventually told this bully thug to back off. They finally did back off, but again, our family went through the terrifying ordeal of having state workers trying to force their way into our home, threatening to remove our children, sending police to our home...all in spite of the fact that we had medical records proving that there was no problem at all; that our son was doing just fine.
I share all this simply because folks need to know that the Pellettier's case is not isolated. Their ordeal makes our look like a picnic, but the fact is, government bullies are routinely harassing American citizens. And this kind of thing is only going to get worse unless the people of this nation stand up and start holding our government accountable. That means at the polls. That means at the grass roots level. That means getting our head out of the sand (as mentioned in my last post) and putting a stop to an over-reaching government before Orwell's vision comes true.
PS - I let you know if Big Brother starts in on us again for posting our story online! (yeah, I'm kind of that paranoid sometimes!)