1. Jacket’s Ipad came with the “Find my Ipad…” feature but it only works if the Ipad is on. It has been off, with no power, for two months. As soon as it is turned on by anyone, anywhere I’ll receive an email.
2. Jacket’s UPromise account is in my name and any sort of additional savings accounts I personally create for her will always be in my name (with Rebecca Katz). This is why UPromise is so perfect, I’m not collecting any actual money from people. God forbid Jacket herself becomes addicted to drugs or something, I’ll remain in control of how the cash is doled out. Worst case scenario, the funds could be used to send her to a long-term rehab/vocational training center in New Mexico. Actually, that could be a best case scenario. She could build a whole new life. But that’s assuming she’s strung out. Positive thinking. A cozy, supportive liberal arts college out of state, but not too far away, is my personal fantasy for her. But the sweet girl will have her own plans to rock higher education, I’m sure!
So, of course I have a game plan for eventually tracking down Jacket. The thing is, let’s say I find her- then what? The moment Jacket’s mom gives me a phone number or address I (ethically) have to give it over to ACS. In turn, Jacket’s mom will know that I ‘snitched’ on her and she’ll be back on the run. She (or, more likely her family) knows all of the in’s and out’s of dodging ACS and are quite successful.
My concerns for Jacket aren’t new or different even though they’ve supposedly moved out of the apartment. I never know where Jacket actually is at night or what new felon is living in the house at the time. I’m on medium, not high, alert.
So my plan, in no particular order:
1. Tell the detective. Her mother just died so I haven’t bothered her with what, sadly, is routine Jacket drama. I will let her know soon. I gave the ACS case worker her number, her level of involvement and they can always call her as well.
2. Continue to pay the $14.99 to keep the (locked down and only for calling me through skype) Ipad Internet going. No one has turned the ipad on in almost two months. It’s 50/50 as to if it’s been sold, stolen or lost.
3. “Bump into” grandma (and possibly Jacket and her mom) just outside the foster agency as they are coming and going to visit Jacket’s cousins on Fridays.
4. Likely the most successful attempt will be if I leave a bag of stuff (left overs from my recent clothing swap with friends, some of the books for Jacket I found on the street, homemade brownies) and a simple apology note for Jacket’s mom/grandma at the foster agency.
5. Google stalk the whole family and piece together where they are living. (**Don’t underestimate an adoptee’s internet research skills if they found their bio parents without so much names or ages.)
6. Hire a private investigator. Always an option but a bit too stalkerish for my preference. I would wait at least a year and then I would only do it to make sure Jacket was in school (if she’s not, I’ll call in my own ACS child abuse case).
All in all, I expect Jacket’s mom to roll back around eventually. It’s only been a couple of weeks and she’s got to figure out how to get Jacket to corroborate her we-were-living-in-Florida-but-now-we’re-back story. Not to mention she thinks she has to convince me that her life is stable now. I will forever cringe at this mistake.
Jacket’s mom hasn’t been calling me on the ipad and Jacket hasn’t been given access to it. Jacket’s mom hides the ipad when certain relatives are living there- which tells a lot.
Late last night however, Jacket called me on the ipad. She giggled for 4 minutes straight and then hung up. Super sweet.
- Jacket: Look at my booty.
- Me: I see it.
- (shakes butt in the camera)
- Yep, that's you're butt.
- Read me a book.
- Ok, I've got 'Harry the Dirty Dog' right here when you're ready.
- (still shaking butt in the camera) Read it to my butt.
- I'm not going to read a book to your butt. (put my fingers up to the camera and make pinching gesture)
- (more pinching gestures)
- (reciprocal pinching gestures)
- Are you ready for the book?
- I want to play a game.
- Ok, what game do you want to play?
- I spy! I spy something........................BLUE!
- Ok, in your house or in my house?
- MY house!
- Well, all I can see is the ceiling so you're going to have to move the ipad.
- (turns ipad upside-down and camera goes black)
- Now I can't see anything.
- (turns ipad back to the ceiling)
- Jacket can you put the ipad on the stand like I've shown you all?
- (hands ipad to grandma) Hellllllo Rebecca!
- Hi Grandma! How are you?
- Great honey. You look nice this evening.
- Aww, thanks so much. All I can see is your boobs again!
- (laughs and moves ipad so that it points back to ceiling, hands it back to Jacket)
- Hey, Jacket if you open the stand...
- I SPY SOMETHING BLUE!
- (just start randomly guessing) Is it, the shirt?
- YEAH-YA! (she's said 'yeah' like this for almost 2 years)
- Wow, cool!
- How did you know?
- I have no idea.
I got my hands back on Jacket’s Ipad until Tuesday and I’m looking for new Apps. Ideas? My biggest splurge has been on the Dr. Suess books because Jacket picks up on the rhythms so earnestly.
I also downloaded some healthy food/Farmer’s Market Apps.
If you can find anything on African hair care, I’m totally stressed about Jacket having lost most of her hair (Although my mantra is “It’s not a safety issue, it’s not a safety issue”) because her mom washes it every day, doesn’t condition it at all and pulls rubber bands in and out each night. I found a “Big Hair” App that’s positive about African hair, but nothing else so far.
I included some Apps created with autism in mind like the social story App “Going Places” and Functional Skills System “Manners”.
The NYC subway map
Sorting Apps “Clean Up”
PBS “SuperWhy” App
More ideas? Know of any relaxation Apps for kids? Also, if anyone else wants to read Jacket a book on video we’d love it!