The other day I ran into one of my favorite residents (they are all my favorites!) who asked to speak with me. He is one of several sibling groups we have in residence. He and his sister had been adopted, but after a few years of attempting to salvage the adoption, it failed. They are, once again, available for adoption. Both he and his sister have one message for me every time I see them and that is, “Find me a home.”
My day came to a standstill as I heard his plea. He was accompanied by his therapist who encouraged him and commented on the courage he displayed by persistently pursuing his dream of having a home, a family. It is such courage, like his, that we honor each day as we lend our energies and resources to serve these children.
There is urgency in this plea, a desire to be like other kids, to be part of a loving family and community. For this brother and sister, it is not because they are not happy at Hillsides
, but it is because they know better. In spite of the tremendous disappointments they have experienced and the challenges they confront, they are still longing for that one person, that family who will accept them and support them for a lifetime.
Like many other agencies, Hillsides has developed a capacity to assist families to be equipped to, once again, receive their children back at home and if necessary to identify other family members to serve as lifelong resources for these children. For those without a family resource, then we partner with other agencies to identify adoptive families.
The obstacles are many: an unnecessarily bureaucratic system, the traumas experienced at the hands of adults, a cycle of failure, learning and emotional challenges. But in spite of the challenges, we must not lose hope, but rather strengthen our commitment to restoring every child to their family or to a permanent home.