Jul 20, 2007

The Story of India, Part One

On August 25, 1990, while Mike was on duty, he was sent on a call to the hospital to see the ER staff. They were treating a five month old baby girl who had some strange bruises and was "suppposed" to have been in a car accident. Strangely enough the bruising left perfect imprints of handprints and finger marks on her face and neck. It became apparent to the doctor and Mike that the bruises weren't caused by any car accident. The fleeing of the parent seemed to substantiate that, too. We were foster parents at the time and already had a five and a half year old daughter placed with us in addition to our own seven and five year old daughters.

I was listening to the scanner and heard him go to the call and, after a short while, request a social worker because he was going to "300" the baby. That meant he was giving her to social services for placement because being with the parent was dangerous for her. I quickly called the dispatcher and told her, "Tell Mike we have room for a baby!" Then I called the hospital and gave the same message to the ER nurse. I nervously listened to the scanner so that I could get a clue as to what he would decide to do.

Within probably half an hour the phone was ringing. It was the dispatcher telling me to come down to the PD to pick up the baby because Mike and the social worker agreed that we would keep her for "a week at most." I yelled to the girls that we were getting a baby girl and I called our closest friends and next-door neighbors, asking them if they'd watch the girls for a little while while I fetched the baby. They were thrilled to help out and I was soon on my way down to the PD.

The baby girl was small for her age and dressed in pajamas that were sized for a toddler. She had the most unusual name; India. It was a name I'd never heard before. I took her home and got her settled in.

At home, the girls, as are most girls that age, absolutely adored her. They played with her and made her laugh and that made me laugh. As the next day came along, the bruises became more pronounced. It was obvious that she had been slapped and had had someone's hands around her neck. Fortunately, the bruises were the only injury and they soon vanished. For one reason or another, the week came and went without India being placed anywhere else. Days moved into weeks, weeks moved into months and before I knew it, I was hooked by her. I knew that she was part of our family and that, as far as I was concerned, she was part of me.

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