Zoey was born to a young mother with bipolar disorder - a condition that caused her moods to fluctuate, often very quickly, from extreme highs to severe depression.
When Zoey was five months old, a neighbour in her apartment building heard prolonged screaming coming from next door. She knew a young woman and a baby lived there and she grew concerned. She knocked on the door and called out several times but got no answer and could hear the baby crying loudly the whole time. Unsure of what to do next, she phoned the police.
Two officers had to break down the door after several unsuccessful attempts to get the mother to answer. What they found inside was a baby screaming in her crib with a cut along her forehead and eyelid and no mother in sight. The balcony door was open and it was clear that she had escaped from the second story and left her baby unattended.
The police took Zoey to the hospital where it was discovered that in addition to the cut, she was malnourished and dehydrated. Jewish Family and Child Service was called in, as a Children’s Aid Society, to take Zoey into care. Once she had been medically treated, we placed her with one of our emergency foster parents, experienced in caring for babies. Three weeks passed before a call came in to 911 regarding Zoey’s mother. She had been staying with a man who found her on his couch, overdosed on prescription pills. She was pronounced dead at the scene. When it was determined that Zoey had no family members other than an uncle in London who was unable to take her, within weeks she was adopted by a couple who had been on our waiting list for a Jewish baby.
Zoey is now thriving as part of a very loving family. Her adoptive parents have worked with a JF&CS social worker to understand bipolar disorder and were so moved by Zoey’s story that they have also decided to become foster parents.
*Names, photos and certain identifying features have been changed in order to protect the anonymity of our clients.