Our group residential home and our emergency shelter welcome many girls throughout the year. Our prayer is that each girl will feel as much "at home" as she can. We strive to create a nurturing environment that offers a safe place for the kids to come when they face removal from everything that is familiar to them.
Recently, we received a report from a child's caseworker:
‘Maggie’ was adopted by a family member as a small child. In her early teens she learned her bio mom was married and had other children. Like many teens do, she fantasized about living with her mom and life being perfect. She began communicating with mom and her behaviors (intentionally) escalated. Eventually, she was surrendered to the state and was placed with her mother.
Unfortunately, ‘Maggie’ learned that her mom was unable and unwilling to deal with the emotional needs of a teen with abandonment, trauma, and other issues. She learned that fantasies and promises can be empty, even if they sound pretty. The placement didn’t last long.
Shortly after coming to Hope Haven, ‘Maggie’ called her caseworker and said another family member wanted her to come live with them. When asked her thoughts, she said, “I realize when I was with my [family member] I had a great life. She cared for me and was there like no one else. I messed that up and ended up with mom and it was terrible. Now I’m in another REALLY GREAT place, with lots of opportunities to go to college and learn important things and if I go with them I’m going to mess up my life again…”
The caseworker told us she was astounded that ‘Maggie’ now had this kind of insight and maturity.
"Because your facility, which I’ve felt is TOP NOTCH, in a mere few weeks [has given] this youth the stability and positivity that is needed to learn the most valuable lesson in life; that family isn’t always just who you were born to, but who supports you and brings out the best in you. And we can have connections and love people, sometimes while still preserving ourselves and doing what’s best for our future. I’ve never heard her as happy as she is when she calls to tell me all the activities she gets to be a part of and how wonderful the place is. She’s a hard cookie to motivate..., but your structure and rewards absolutely do that. [Six] months ago she didn’t have the mindset to go to college or make good choices to have a good life…but being there she is seeing all the opportunities she has and if she stays, having those opportunities to go to college and make a good life for herself. THANK YOU. Thank you for loving hard kids. Thank you for sacrificing time and energy into what feels like an uphill battle sometimes. Thank you for creating an atmosphere of stability, love, and acceptance that is shaping young girls to know what normalcy can look like. If I could give ya'll a hug tonight I would."