For many of our residents who are challenged to find a permanent home we take advantage of ‘Wednesday’s Child” as a way of introducing the child to an adoptive family. “Wednesday’s Child” is a weekly television feature on FOX11/KTTV about adoption that helps find permanent, loving, adoptive families for children in foster care. After appearing on “Wednesday’s Child,” the anticipation of finally meeting a potential adoptive family was so great for one of our residents. When the resident finally walked into the room to meet the couple, he could hardly contain himself and began to tear up to have encountered a loving family. That first memorable meeting opened the door to a heart rendering process of discovery, as child and prospective parents explored the potential of becoming a family.
Hope is running high in spite of considerable challenges as together they maneuver uncharted territory. This is the emotional path managed by our staff as they seek a permanent, loving home for some of the most vulnerable residents at Hillsides. For this particular resident the process still continues and the path will be challenging, but he makes his way accompanied by dedicated staff committed to finding him a permanent home.
Recognizing that he would be leaving soon, I took some time this past week to meet with him. He welcomed the opportunity and to my surprise came to the meeting prepared with an agenda. He opened his portfolio (I was impressed) and started by saying thank you. He was grateful for the staff, the many experiences he has had and the friends he has made. I asked him what he liked most about his experience at Hillsides and he responded by mentioning how kind, patient, and responsive the staff is and that he really appreciated it. To show how appreciative he is, he had prepared a “petition” that he insist I sign stating my commitment to provide raises to the staff. Not that I needed to be convinced, but the staff could not have asked for a better advocate than this appreciative resident! His only complaint was that sometimes the food is not “crispy” enough, alas we are not the local KFC franchise! I told him I would look into it.
Our residential program is one of the finest in the area, sought after as a preferred placement. We take pride in tirelessly striving to provide the best possible care for the children we serve and their families. At the end of the day, we see ourselves at their services, offering a resource at a critical juncture that hopefully will enable them to move on to a better and full life. The journey feels perilous at times, caring for the fragile well-being of such vulnerable children can be daunting. However, it is all worthwhile if at the end positive lasting change comes about.