Almost exactly 3 years ago, Sarah and I were sitting down with our social worker with a burden on our heart about the heroin problem in the Cincinnati area. We told our social worker about our desire to open our home once again with the hope to do what we could do for heroin-exposed children. While requests in foster care are not at all how the system works, our social worker heard us. A short time later, little Ruby Geneva came to us, 3 months old and 10 pounds, skin peeling, but her feisty little smile beamed.
What are we up against? We had some knowledge about what effects exposure could have, but we were really unsure of what to expect as Sarah took Ruby to doctor’s appointments. We found out that she was exposed to heroin and other drugs, but the effects of this exposure remained unknown. Even today, we don’t know how much exposure affects our day-to-day living or the future. We visited the high-risk clinic at Cincinnati Children’s hospital, where they informed us that Ruby had some brain mass missing; she had cerebral palsy from a head trauma while in utero. The doctor informed us that likely she’d just grow to function without that part of her brain, but the effects would be unknown.