What I Know (The Gertz Family)

I don’t know the Gertz’s.

We live maybe 12 miles apart in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, but we have never met.

Never at a doctor’s office.  Never at a psychiatric hospital on a visiting day.  Never at an in person or online support group meeting.

I have no idea if the Gertz’s ever joined a support group, or went to a mental illness awareness fundraiser, or walked in a NAMIWalk.

I don’t know who their doctors were or if their daughter was ever hospitalized in the only pediatric psychiatric hospital within 20 miles of either of us.

I don’t know if Ms. Gertz gave up her job to care for her child, or tried residential treatment, or applied for a ICG.

I do know that the Gertz’s daughter Ellie is adopted, as are two of my three children.

I do know that I have a son with a severe mental illness, and a daughter with both FAE and RAD, and that the Gertz’s have a daughter with all three.

I do know that we feared the harm our son might do to our other children, us, and himself.

I do know that we downsized, quit jobs, moved, sold cars and furniture, researched, explored, and talked to everyone we could find to get our kids the help they need and deserve.

I do know that the Gertz’s have turned their child over to what, at least in this article, appear to be permanent guardians, thousands of miles away.

I do know that I would sell everything we owned and live in a one bedroom trailer before I gave my child away.

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