North Texas

North Texas Family Separated at Easter Due to Lack of Specialized Care for Adopted Daughter

Families across North Texas gathered Sunday to celebrate Easter.

But one family in McKinney was without their young daughter.

Meghan and Tim Cathey are fighting to find specialized respite care their daughter desperately needs, but they cannot find it in North Texas.

Easter Sunday's celebration at the Cathey family home in McKinney was replaced by a phone call from 900 miles away.

The Catheys' 11-year-old daughter, Peyton, had a challenging start to life.

"She was born addicted to drugs," Meghan Cathey said. "She was my sister's child and we took her in at 15 months old. If we hadn't, she would've ended up in foster care, but she did suffer from neglect and trauma in those first 15 months."

The couple had no idea how difficult the healing process would be.

"Mental healthcare is just really non-existent for kids like this, to get them the proper diagnosis and proper treatment to really heal them and get them back home," Tim Cathey said.

Peyton has had behavioral issues since she was about 3 years old, according to Tim Cathey.

A psychologist diagnosed Peyton with reactive attachment disorder caused by the neglect and trauma at a young age, the Catheys said.

It requires specialized treatment, including respite care in order to create structure and discipline in hopes of Peyton returning home with the intent to follow rules and thrive.

"All of the hospitals she went to in North Texas didn't even know what reactive attachment disorder was," Meghan Cathey said.

The only place the Catheys found was an institute in Colorado called the Institute for Attachment & Child Development.

The institute's website said it is a Colorado-based nonprofit that keeps kids in healthy adoptive families.

The Catheys said the care is so specialized that is it not covered by health insurance, leaving the family to pay just under $7,000 a month out-of-pocket.

Peyton is reportedly thriving.

During a planned, timed phone conversation on Sunday afternoon the 11-year-old gushed about the activities she had been taking part in, including knitting and fencing classes.

She also thanked her mom and dad for her Easter gift: a Bible for teenagers.

"I hope that it reaches some part deep inside her heart and changes her into the kid we know she can be," he said.

The Catheys are leaning on faith that their little girl will one day live out the following words found in a wall decoration above her bed.

"Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move mountains."

"We definitely believe that she is going to do great things," Tim Cathey said.

Peyton has been gone for about nine months, according to the family.

If she continues to make progress in her treatment, the Catheys expect their daughter to return to North Texas in late May.

In the meantime they will continue to search out specialized respite care here at home.

The Catheys have set up an account to help with their expenses for Peyton.

Click here if you would like to help.

Contact Us