Duval County

‘I’m really excited to share Christmas:’ Jacksonville nonprofit helps mom reunite with daughter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A mother and her daughter are spending their first Christmas together. This comes after the two were separated for months.

“[I] ended up making some bad decisions, and got her taken for the first three months,” Jessica Meadows said. “Now, I’m really excited to share Christmas, to watch her open presents.”


Jessica Meadows has a beautiful 9-month-old girl named Edith.

“It started off really rough,” Meadows said. “I actually was told I couldn’t get pregnant, and ended up being pregnant. [I] was living on the wild side, and wasn’t planning on keeping her.”

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Meadows got in touch with LJD Jewish Family and Community Services. At the time, she was struggling with substance abuse issues and some mental health issues. The nonprofit got her counseling and assisted in other ways. She also participated in the high-risk newborn program.

“We’re the prevention side. So, we are trying to do everything that we possibly can to give them those skills that they need to be the most successful parent that they possibly can, so that this doesn’t happen ever again,” Hope Wood said.

Wood is a high-risk newborn therapist with LJD Jewish Family and Community Services. She worked specifically on Jessica’s case after baby Edith was removed from the home.

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“With her [Jessica], I just knew from the very beginning there was a lot of potential,” Wood said. “She’s been through a lot.”

“The best part is you’re not alone,” Meadows said. “You just have to reach out. You just have to talk to people. It might hurt to say it out loud, but it feels a lot better afterwards.”

These programs require a referral but you can learn more information on services offered and how to help at this link.

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