“Abuse and neglect inhibit the development of children’s trust in the world, in others, and in themselves. They find it difficult to trust the behaviors and words of others, their own judgements and actions, or their own senses of self worth.” (from Brown University, Dysfunctional Family Relationships http://bit.ly/2FW1HeI)
“Silent” came to us a few months ago. She was a young teen who had experienced so little support from her biological family that she begged to be placed in foster care. She exhibited all of the above cited problems that are common with children who have never known the safety of loving, nurturing adults in their life. Extremely shy and no longer able to trust anyone, she was withdrawn and…silent.
It’s taken time and lots of love and assurance, but Silent is coming out of her shell. It began with her Home Parents. As she became more comfortable being around them and found that she could trust them; she’s developed a fun, sarcastic banter between her and her Home Parent Dad that often makes him laugh at her sharp wit. She no longer runs to hide in her room when a stranger walks in the door of the home. She no longer tries to hide her lovely face behind side-swept hair.
Best of all – Silent is finding her voice and learning to trust herself. She recently had a court date approaching. For foster children, court dates are extremely unsettling. When Silent found out a court date was looming, she said she couldn’t do it. Wouldn’t do it. Yet with some encouragement – empowerment – from her Home Parents, she decided she would do it, because she wanted to be heard. She wanted to express what HER wishes were. What she wanted or didn’t want to happen with HER case. She wrote it all out, walked into that courtroom and stood before the judge and read all of it – with strength and confidence that SHE knew what was best for her.
This was a huge step for Silent. Her emotional growth since arriving at Coyote Hill has surprised and encouraged her Home Parents. Silent tells them that she really likes being here and feeling like people genuinely care for her.
No, the court and judge haven’t completely solved Silent’s problem and fulfilled her requests. Yet. But they know what she wants and they respect her wishes and have put some time-lines in motion. Time will tell whether or not all of those wishes can be fulfilled. In the meantime…Silent found her voice, and is doing all she can to better her situation.
Your continued support is helping to break the silence of abused children, replacing that silence with strength and success. THANK YOU.Related Stories View All
TBRI® and Empowered to Connect
Foster care and adoption is marked by many joys, but also by the many challenges of trauma and attachment. As we continue in our series of April blog posts related to National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we’d like to share with you about Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) and why it is fundamental in the […]Read More ->