difficult child had a rough night


New Member
I was worried this afternoon, out of nowhere, CPS called me at work to let me know that our difficult child would not be having a visitation with her bio mother on Monday, but could not tell me why. In fact, then she also mentioned that it could possibly be quite some time before she got to see her bio mother...which mostly worried me. Due to confidentiality, she could not tell me ANYTHING, and I KNEW that telling my 12 year old that she was not seeing her mom and not being able to tell her why was NOT a good plan, so I went digging for info. I came to find out later, that mom was back in jail...yes...uh-oh. So, I proceeded to try to figure out why. She had drug court scheduled for today which is this neat accountability program Illinois has, where they have goals that they work out with the judge, they are given time to achieve those goals and excetra. She is in this program because she is on parole from prison which she was sentenced to for drug related issues.

They took her into custody during her drug court review today, but there was no information as to why. All of this information is a matter of public record so the only trick is looking in the right place. Anywho, I knew that my difficult child was going to want to know what she did to get back in jail, so I tried to call her mom's SO. Apparently, another part of drug court is a mandatory drug test before the hearing. Which they say she failed. yes...uh-oh again.

Anyway, we are trying to decide how to approach this with our difficult child and avoid a total meltdown, which we expected, simply because she is her mother's biggest fan, even after everything the woman has put her through. We didn't want to give her information that was going to set her off, but we also wanted to be completely honest with her. To my surprise, she took the news quite well, considering. However, I am worried that it is only because it hasn't quite sunk in yet...and I am afraid that when it does, it will explode.

I know that several of you also have difficult child's that were placed with you by CPS, and I was wondering how many of your difficult child's still have a relationship with their bio parents, and how you would handle the situation if the bio parents did something this tragic that you would have to work through with your difficult child???

For those of you who have read some of my other posts, you will know that my husband and I got custody of our difficult child after bio mother was imprisoned and CPS removed her from her bio mother's home, and that although our difficult child is my husband's bio daughter, we are actually "foster parenting" her for the first 6 months she lives with us, at which time the judge will turn full custody of her back to us. We have tried so hard to be supportive of them continuing to have a relationship through their 2 hours of court ordered, supervised visitation per week...but if things like this keep happening, I am not so sure this is healthy for her. I mean, even though she no longer lives with her mother, them trying to continue to have a relationship means that every time she gets into more trouble, she is still managing to tear her daughter apart!!!!! (sorry, this part is just me venting that even losing her children wasn't motivation enough for this woman to straighten up her act!!!!!) I would think that something like that would at least make an impression, don't you think???? It would certainly make an impression on me!!!!

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
What an ugly situation.

I've always been very matter of fact with the tweedles when they ask if they can visit bio mom. It's been court ordered that bio mom have no contact.

It's why the tweedles were placed in a different state from where bio mom lives.

If kt or wm pushed for further answers, I let them know that I had no say in this matter. Being very matter of fact has lessened the emotions surrounding this issue.

Your case is different in that there is still contact with bio mom. Having said that, I would still just state the facts.


Going Green
Our situation is a bit different in that there is no contact with our difficult child and his bio mom. (husband and I adopted him out of foster care 7 years ago). Lately though, he's decided that when he turns 18 (in a year) he's going to move back to where bio mom lives. He keeps alternating between saying he's going to live with her and saying he's going to get his own place near her. Either way it would be a bad situation as she still drinks and drugs and is in and out of jail. When I've tried to tell him that she could be going into jail he gets defensive and says things like "how do YOU know? You don't talk to anyone up there" (We have contact with some of his bio family as there are siblings involved with other people) If I tell him that Yes, I do then he still doesn't believe me or get's mad. He was old enough when taken from her that he remembers her but he's really got an idealized memory of her and has his very own pair of really thick lensed rose colored glasses. If he continues with this he's just going to have to learn it on his own but it's going to be ugly when he does. He's asked over the years and all we've said is that because of BM's choices, she lost her right to be a mom to him and his sibs. I know that deep down, he remembers the bad stuff but he's still got those rose colored glasses firmly in place. I think for you, while you may still get negative reactions and difficult child will be hurt, you're doing the right thing. You answer calmly with the facts and that's really all you CAN do. She obviously loves her bio mom and wants her to suceed. You can have her in counseling or talk to her as much as possible but in the end, she's the one that has to come to terms with bio mom's limitations and choices and that she (difficult child) has nothing to do with it. (not her fault or it's all up to bio mom and not because difficult child isn't there to "help" her.....that type of thing)

I know it's hard. Sending hugs. Hang in there.


New Member
<span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #663366"> you are probably not going to like this suggestion one little bit. i hated when i had to do this.

years ago i fostered. i had a little boy in my home who's mom spent a lot of time in county jail....yes, she was an addict. anyway visits took place in the jail. i hated having to drive him there & the aftermath was really rough, but that's what we had to do.

in spite of all that's happened difficult child still has strong bonds with-her mom. that is not going to change i suspect no matter how bad mom gets. kids love their moms & forgive them much.

talk to husband & see if he is agreeable. call your CW & ask if she can arrange a contact visit with-the mom. by the way a contact visit means they can touch each other.

who knows. maybe actually seeing mom in jail will have an impact on difficult child. however, i would batten down the hatches either way.

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Active Member
Kris, I was thinking that too. At least it shows you are doing what you can to help her have contact with her mother. And if absence makes the heart grow fonder and allows difficult child to build this fantasy about her mother, seeing her regularly may short-circuit that.

Also, I wouldn't be too critical of the mother in terms of not being sufficiently motivated to get off drugs - it takes a lot more than motivation and willpower. Once the drugs have you hooked it's hard to get off them. Almost impossible while you're in jail. There are too many other factors. Being weak and an addict doesn't mean she doesn't love her daughter; it just means she's not coping in many other ways.

Drug addicts are really good at denial and self-deception. Sounds like difficult child has the same ability. If a regular jail visit (made necessary by her bio-mum's habit) can give difficult child a dose of reality, it should stand her in good stead later on, she will have a less glamorous view of drugs and where they put you.

Not an easy one for you, I think you handled it well.



I am a CD addict
NNT-How I so feel your pain. Blended family here.

We got our difficult child 15sd last year when her mom went to jail. We picked her up on Sun, CPS was going to pick her up on Mon (even knowing she had been alone since Fri and was only 14). Unfortunately for us we did not have help from CPS, They washed their hands of her (they had a case file starting since she was 4) But we did get a judge that agreed to only supervised visitation 2 hours one weekend a month if she ever got released.

She got released. She's has been out now for about 6 or 7 months. Still no visistation. But she does call and make promises to my difficult child (breaks my heart) We have decided in time she will see the true nature of her mom ( she already states her mom never follows through with anything...she has not talked to CPS about scheduling visitation...calling her back when promised)

Sometimes we have a rough few days after a call. But we anticipate that and try to head it off. Our latest call her mom tells her she may be headed back to jail and she needs to have us let her see difficult child before she gets sent away for a long time. I just love how she tries to set us up a s the bad guys. But our difficult child knows the guidelines her mom was to meet before visitation is going to happen. She also knows her mom has not done what she needs to do.

It's a long road. I don't know how much of a relationship you had with your difficult child before this. We had on sporadic visitation for 4 years before she came to us and no overnight/home visits in 2 years. So she was not happy with being here.

But, I can tell you in the year that she has actually been in our home now. She has made such great progress. She can now be a teenager. She is happy (most of the time) She looks forward to school and participates in sports (year round-so far)

As for her mom...you can't help her with her choices. our's continues to make those choices. drug use/ criminal activity. I like you wonder how this does not propel them to change. But I guess addiction overcomes all reason. And you will probably just drive yourself craazy trying to figure it out.

I just pray for guidance and love my difficult child the best I can. I can never be her mom but I can be her advocate/protector.

pm me if you have any question or just want to talk


New Member
Well, when her mother first got arrested, a little over two years ago now, they were having visitation at the jail...at the county jail she is in, they absolutely do not allow contact visits, it must all be done on their "phone" through the glass. It was actually kind of sad, because when they FINALLY moved her bio mom from county jail to real prison, our difficult child was SO EXCITED because she WAS allowed contact visits at that facility.

The other stressful part of the situation that was uncomfortable for us was that when I called bio mom's boyfriend to get the details of what was going on, he asked me not to tell our difficult child WHY her mom was put back in jail, because she was worried that our difficult child would be "Mad" at her if she found out she failed a drug test. He asked if I would give him until today to talk things over with bio mom and try to smooth the idea into her. I told him straight forwardly that we would not lie, but that I may be able to give him some time if that is what she really wanted. So at first, we tried to tell difficult child that mom was back in custody, but that we weren't sure what all the details were as to why, but that we were trying to find out. THEN, our difficult child decides to call her Aunt (bio mom's sister), who comes out with a horrible lie to lighten the whole mess, which I refused to tolerate. So, against the wishes of her bio mom, I went ahead and told her what we knew, even though I said I wouldn't.

But I feel that we made the right choice, because I had already told bio mom's boyfriend that we would not LIE about it, and I didn't really want ANYONE to lie about it...

It is one thing for me to put her off for a matter of 24 hours to give mom some time to prepare herself, but it is quite another for someone who's business this is NONE of decides to make the choices for our child and chooses to lie to cover up a situation. I do feel bad that I prematurely revealed information I had said I would keep quiet, but I was not going to allow her to be lied to.

I think this may be her last visitation with her bio mom for a while, because she is supposed to be evaluated on Monday for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to focus on her drug problem, and if she is admitted, they will not allow her any visitors for a period of time, and it is still up in the air what will happen to her when she completes the program (whether or not she goes back to prison afterwards). If she does not qualify for the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) program, she will be returned to Prison where she will carry out the remainder of her sentence that she was parolled from...which if that happens, our difficult child will be nearly 18 by the time she gets out again!