Teresa is a beautifully natured girl of three and a half years. She has had a rough life having been removed from her mother at 18m due to neglect while they were living in the streets. She has two older siblings. One is in a juvenile correction facility and the other is in a home that does not cater for children under four years old. She was placed in a home but the standard of care was so low that she showed signs of malnutrition and begged for food. She has flourished in our home. She has learned a lot of English in the month she has been with us. She is still rough with the babies but is learning manners and patients. She loves having her own things. She is a big talker and a great Dancer. She has been a great influence on the younger children. She is expected to join her siblings when she is old enough.
Some of the information we were given proved to be incorrect. Teresa was removed only shortly before she came to live with us. She has three sisters one, Sandra, is in a rehabilitation center not a correction facility. She is receiving counseling and behavior modification as well as a good education. She is top of her class and a very bright girl. The other two Silvia and Sandra are in a catholic home. All three are sent home during school holidays.
On our first meeting with the mother to these girls it was clear that she was struggling with mental illness. She told us of her wishes to get the girls back so that she could sell them to a foreign man. She also told us in detail of several violent assaults she made on the girls when she felt ‘sick’. This includes the use of knives and waterbording. We had her hospitalized and had a septic IUD that had been confused with cancer removed but her mental well being did not improve with treatment. She declined further treatment and we left the matter with the social worker who had removed the children. When we discovered that the other children were to continue living with her over holidays we offered to host them. The stories of abuse from the older girls have been chilling. Their mother is sweet and motherly when she is well and is able to visit when she is calm. We have had only one instance of concern and now require visits to be closely supervised.
Teresa is now a sweet child who is very motherly and loves helping to look after the babies. She does not show interest in schooling or exercise but we are looking for ways to help motivate her.