Archives For parental rights

The death of a love one, change’s your perspective on everything…including life itself.

Caulk kids at football game Three intimate family losses in 22 months has changed me. I am not the same and I believe the change is for the better in many ways.

Let me explain.

The role I have loved the most in life was being a mom. Being a mother brought me my greatest joy and my most difficult sorrows. However, even with the sorrow I would not change the thing I love most being a mother.

Having a child proceed you in death is the most horrific form of pain one can imagine. Perhaps that is why the Justina Pelletier case has grabbed my heart so hard.

No, Justina is not dead.

But, she is a child and a mother is suffering. She has not been able to really hold or have those all important conversations for 15 months. I can’t imagine. 

People say to me all the time, “Missy, I can’t imagine what you have gone through.” Well I can’t imagine what Linda Pelletier has gone through for 15 months as a mother. I know my son, Jamie is in heaven and living life to the fullest. But Justina is in Wayside Youth Residential home where kids are shuffled in and out every 2-3 weeks. She is surrounded by strangers, not attending school, not being allowed to attend church and most importantly not being around her family.


Teenagers are in a transition period. They are not children, they are not adults. One day they are playing with Barbie dolls and the next day getting school girl crushes on boys for the first time. I know…I reared two daughters. Transitioning from child to teenager to adult brings about incredible emotional changes. They are changing from the family unit being the source of their identity to the identification with their peers.

Justina family Justina comes from a family with 3 other sisters. Sisters are huge role models for teens in the transition period. But, Justina isn’t home to have them as role models. Who are Justina’s role models now? We don’t know, the parent’s don’t know, they can only see her off site.

Justina asked to see her mother on her birthday, they said NO.

I can’t imagine.

Mother’s Day is coming up on May 11th. Last year everyone at Boston Children’s Hospital got to see their mother on Mothers Day,  but not Justina Pelletier. Will she this year? I have my doubts.

Here is the big thing. Justina turns 16 on May 24th.

Her 16th birthday!!!!

Do you remember your “Sweet 16”? I do it was a great birthday. My daddy picked me up at lunch time and took me to get my driving license. He picked me up in a brand new, red, Buick Skylark with a white vinyl top. I will never forget that day.

Where will Justina be on her birthday?

Parental Rights

Parental Rights When I started this blog I was writing and researching brain death and all I learned about it, when and after they pronounced my son “brain dead”. Then the diagnosis of brain death on Jahi McMath broke and I knew exactly what her mother, Nailah was feeling, and now Justina and again I know how her mom is suffering.

Although they are two totally different situations, they are similar in the principal that parents know what is best for their children. No one loves them more, no one has that innate intuition of what is best and going on with their children.

I always believed that parents had parental rights. That they were given by God and acknowledged in our Constitution, but I am learning they are implied rights. Yes for years those rights were assumed in the Constitution, yet now due to numerous courts cases throughout the U.S. challenging those rights it is critical that we guarantee those rights under a Parental Rights Amendment.

 An Advocate

When I graduated from college my degree was in Social Work. Then I married and I became a Pastors wife. For the last 18 years I have been a Ann Arbor Real Estate Broker.

I have enjoyed all the journey, but my heart and my passion now is advocating for those deprived of justice. A voice for the voiceless, to those who can’t speak for themselves and need a community of people speaking out for them.

Since I started actively following and tweeting and following Justina’s story, I have changed. As Justina’s story has grown and unfolded more and more parents stories have come to light of other parents losing their children.  Parents whose children have also been taken from the loving arms of good parents. I’m telling you sometimes I just weep when I read them and what those parents have gone or are going through.

I am not saying we don’t need Child Protection Services for neglected, sexually abused children. Not at all. I am saying the system is flawed, very flawed and it needs a complete over hall. Systemic change is hard. Firing a DCF Commissioner is not going to change a thing. Throwing more money at the system is not going to change much, it needs a systemic change with parents rights front and center.

Justina’s story has given a voice to the thousands of other parents who need help in rescuing their children. And yes many of them were also issued a gag order which is a violation of free speech in and of itself.

It has been said, “politics makes strange bedfellows.” In the Pelletier case many people from all walks of political persuasion have come together to fight for Justina go home to her parents. I am not surprised as it is doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know right from wrong.

The Boston Globe asked today, if all this attention would secure a better outcome for Justina or hurt her more? To be honest, I have wondered the same thing from time to time. But, right is right and wrong is wrong and my conscience causes me to do nothing less than speak the truth. All of her advocates feel the same way.

Thanks for reading. Have you been following Justina in the news?

I would love to know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Click the little chain at the bottom of the post.

Holding on til’ the day I see it all..fighting for justice.

Jamie Caulk Today is my son Jamie’s birthday. The third one he has spent in heaven.

For those that don’t know, Jamie died from injuries sustained in a car accident in Nashville, TN on October 20th, 2011. He was pronounced “brain dead” on the 16th, then it was overturned, and they did more testing.

A blood flow test that showed he did have blood flow in his brain. After the blood flow test, which was given to him as a confirmatory test the doctors said, “Oh, we expected to see some blood flow”.

Well they sure didn’t tell us that before the test.

We were up against a system, a protocol and doctors who gave us no hope. We were fighting for our son’s life and time. We were denied that.

We were hounded by Organ requestor’s from the time Jamie was in a coma.

Parental Rights

The last couple of months I have been very involved in parental rights issue’s. This is why I support Nailah Wakefield the mother of Jahi McMath to keep her daughter Jahi on life support and Jessica Pelletier’s family to get her out of Boston Children’s Hospital and back to Tufts Medical Center where she was being treated successfully for Mitochondrial disease.

Nailah WinkfieldI know, not in my head but in my heart what these parents are going through.

Yes, the cases are different in Jahi’s, Justina’s and Jamie’s situations but all of them are similar in that the medical care of each child was stripped from the parents with no respect for the parent’s love or concern for their child. (interesting all 3 J’s)


Sometimes tragedy leads to a new perspective for those involved. We see it time and time again, people become involved in a fight for justice because of the pain they have endured. Think of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. This act came out of the kidnapping and sexual molestation of John Walsh’s son, Adam. Good out of evil.

Justina PelletierMy prayer is that the tragedy of holding Justina Pelletier captive for 13 months will become Justina’s Law. This law would give parents the final say in the medical decisions of their child. It would prevent a child being caught in the middle of two different hospitals opinion’s or in what the parents believe is the best course of action.

No one thinks about any of these hard issues’ until it effects your family personally. When it does it changes everything…forever.

Justice for our children

I will keep fighting for parents rights to be granted for the education, health and protection of their children.

No government, regardless of how well-intentioned it might be, can replace the love and nurture of a parent in the life of a child. Parents care, not because their children are “wards” for whom they are responsible. Parents are willing to brave danger and sacrifice, hardship and heartache to ensure the best for their kids.

Jamie Caulk 30th birthday

I miss you Jamie, every second of every day. I am holding on til the day that we finally see it all. I wish you were here today to celebrate your 30th birthday. But, I will honor you by fighting for the children of whom injustice is occurring in the nation.

I will support parents because “I get it.”