The Jack Jack (and Mom) Update

Thank you all so much for the amazing feedback on my recent post! I am humbled by the overwhelmingly positive comments of support I have received about taking in Jack Jack’s Mom.

Jack Jack’s Mom was released from the hospital yesterday morning. She was gushing her appreciation that we took her in. Shortly after I picked her up, I received a call from the state saying they had called the hospital and were told that she had left the program. I explained that she was discharged and we had decided to take her in. The worker was surprised but seemed okay with it. Later that afternoon, our resource worker called and jokingly threatened to kill me for being nuts, then congratulated me on being human. She went on to say that there had been a meeting and that our foster care license had been on the line. Although Jack Jack is NOT in foster care, there is apparently an “open investigation” and a licensed foster home can not be taking in someone under investigation as that would prevent any other placements. The supervisor wanted to pursue a case against Jack Jack’s Mom through the courts, but somehow the state worker and our resource worker convinced him not to and they agreed to let her stay! The resource worker told me that they will be doing some case planning with Jack Jack’s Mom which will include a parent aide and built in respite (with us!) Yeah! I was really happy to hear they wanted to HELP her instead of make her situation worse.

Jack Jack’s Mom has continued without luck to pursue a shelter that will take in her and the baby. I am beyond frustrated that no one has been able to find something for her, not because I mind having her here, but rather because we were told that no mother and child can be left on the street by the state. She has been told numerous times that she is the highest priority for several welfare departments, yet when the end of the day comes, those workers punch out and go home to their nice warm beds never giving her a second thought.

Anyway, after having Jack Jack’s Mom here 36 hours or so, I’m sad to say I do have some concerns about her and can see how this case was inititially referred for investigation, especially when she was in her peak of mental illness. I still fully believe that she loves her child and would never intentionally harm him, but the mental health piece is definitely an issue in her daily life. I have never seen anyone on the volume of medications she is taking… yet I still can’t figure out if she is spacey BECAUSE of those meds or because she needs more to get herself focused and back down to earth. She often leaves the baby on the floor and simply walks away. I had to remind her at least 5 times today to take her mid-day meds. She has no concept of time. She often seems confused and unable to complete simple tasks. I am hoping and praying that the hospital stay was just stabilization and that her continuing to work with her team will allow her to get to a better place because if this is the best she has got (and she has to do it alone), Jack Jack is in trouble.

I encouraged her to try to relax for the weekend simply because I don’t want her to leave with the baby in the condition she is in. It’s not a good long term solution, but it buys me some time to figure out how best to help her. Any thoughts?

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4 Comments

  1. WriterChickNJ

     /  March 23, 2013

    Jack Jack is gonna have to wind up in foster care for awhile. His mom sounds like she’s in bad shape – needs a lot of therapy, help with meds etc. Mental illness is so tricky.
    Do what you can to protect that baby – that’s the main thing.

    Reply
  2. WriterChickNJ

     /  March 23, 2013

    And I know that you related to her because of your own troubles when you were young. But you had depression – her condition sounds much, much more serious. (Not that I’m downplaying depression – but sounds like she has that AND other conditions).

    Reply
  3. I just read this and the previous post (how did I miss that one?!) and wow. You do have a big heart and I think you did the right thing. Hopefully, though, she’ll get into a shelter soon and get the mental help she needs. Good luck with the baby in the meantime!

    Reply
  4. Astrin Ymris

     /  March 23, 2013

    Did she have a lot of medication changes/additions to her regime in her latest hospitalization? Doesn’t it take awhile for the beneficial results of psychotropic meds to “kick in”? Perhaps once she adapts, she’ll stabilize. JackJack’s ability to relax and engage with new caregivers– after a period of initial hesitation– argues that at least at one time she could function at a higher level.

    It seems to me that as a society, we need to acknowledge that mental illness is a disability, just like paraplegia or intellectual disability, and the sufferers are just as entitled to appropriate NONPUNITIVE services to enable them to function in the “least restrictive environment” possible for them. And if JackJack’s mom can’t manage caring for herself independently, let alone her son, then their bond should still be honored and maintained to the maximum extent possible.

    Reply

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