This is a well-written story. It is long, but worth the read, if you can manage to get all the way to the end. Ultimately, in my opinion, the reason this could happen is because authorities and the general public don't imagine that a mother can be an offender.
Here is the story.
Good hearts will help this child, but "normal" will never be anything but a dryer setting in her life. She had the will to live, but she will forever be limited because her first years of life were starved for love and appropriate interaction.
Neglect is as evil as inappropriate attention. Every child is a miracle. Every child deserves to be loved and cherished. Love is an amazing inoculation against the speedbumps one will experience on the road of life.
(I first saw this story at Washes of Color.) If you're a parent, hug your kids, just because.