"I just remembered something. I didn't get a chance to give my little boy a hug today so I have an extra one here. Can I give it to you?"
Next thing I know, he smiled for the first time, nodded and gave me a HUGE hug. It was all I could do not to cry. He sat in my lap for the longest time, and kept saying "Can I give you another one?". I think by the end of the morning I had at least 10 hugs, and he spent a good bit of time either holding my hand or in my lap. As the morning was ending and we were getting them ready to go home, he got upset again and didn't want to go. I told him that it was time to go, but he could come back tomorrow and I would have more hugs for him.
Seriously, I don't get it. As horrible as it is, I think it would be almost better if she beat him, because at least then we would have proof and could have him removed. But as it is, he's clean, he's fed and he has a place to sleep. Unfortunately that's the story of a lot of kids, and not just here either. But it's still hard for me not to tuck him in my pocket and take him home. My hats off to all you who do this for a living. I just don't know if I could and not punch parents as soon as I see them.