My heart sank when I read this.

According to the Great Falls Tribune:

Two Great Falls parents were arrested for criminal endangerment after allegedly letting their 1-year-old daughter drink methamphetamine-laced orange juice.

Angela Haas (mother of child) told the social worker that the child drank orange juice that had been left out after a party in their home at 802 5th Ave. S., court documents state. Angela Haas gave the child the orange juice, she told police, but she said she didn't know the drug was in the drink. Someone later told her that it had an unknown amount of meth in it.

For the past 2 hours I've sat in front of my desktop computer revising this article. Editing, deleting, typing, editing some more, deleting again. When I learn about stories like this I tend to get a bit emotional and my words don't seem to come out as effective as they should.

Part of me wants to remain professional and simply report the news. Just the facts. The other part of me wants to get in my car, drive to Great Falls and snatch the child away from protective custody so I can show her what it's like to have a normal family.

That's the core of my anguish, the beautiful little girl subjected to witness her parents self destructive lifestyle. Alleged mistake or not, who's to say that the child hasn't been raised in this drug-induced atmosphere through all her days?

As parents, we watch our kids grow up healthy and strong each day. It's amazing to see these little creatures develop, isn't it? Every day it's something new, a new word or motor skill. For a mother or father, it's the most delightful thing they will ever experience. And to think that out there, not far from here, practically in our own backyard (!!) children are being subjected to these types of environments. Environments where parents are too selfish to realize that their fix is much more important than their own flesh and bloods well being. Homes where the parents are so tweaked out that they miss all the exciting early year developments. These are moments that we can never get back, and in these parents particular situation, they are moments that will possibly only be admired from behind bars.

My prayer for our community is that there will be more people who stand up for children in Montana and speak out whenever they witness such atrocities. We know drug addicted parents may never turn themselves in,  but their neighbors simply need to be more alert and brave enough to report even the slightest cases of child neglect and mistreatment. This is a battle that will only worsen as the economy tailspins and jobs come few and far between. People in our area will resort to drugs to ease the pain and forget their troubles. Our number one priority should be to ensure that the children, above all, are not forgotten.