A life together as a forever family

Bradlee, 4, and Sophia, almost 2 had physical and developmental delays with emotional trauma originating from their birth home. Then in 2016, Katie and John became their foster parents in hopes to adopt them in the future. They knew after placement the children would require counseling to help with their past. They were in full support of providing physical therapy, occupational therapy and counseling to allow Bradlee and Sophia to conquer their challenges.

“The children even at an early age were remembering things from their past, which sometimes stopped them in their tracks,” Katie said. “We worked as a team to figure out what the kids were thinking and how to help them understand their fears and feel safe. As parents we used the training CHSW provided, so we knew what to look for when these situations occurred.”

After the family were referred to Children’s Home Society of Washington in Vancouver, staff help them further explore the children’s history and gain valuable insight to what Bradlee and Sophia had experienced. The information was broken down in ways that helped the family identify and understand their feelings.

“Bradlee and Sophia had a rough start in life and we wanted to give them every opportunity to be healthy kids,” Katie said. “Our counselor from CHSW made an instant connection with the children and made immediate progress. It was incredibly beneficial for my husband and I, just as much as it was for the children. CHSW was truly our partner and we quickly moved through certain issues.”

Later, Sophia had moments where she was frustrated or checked out, unable to respond.  Counseling allowed Sophia to connect her past and present and articulate what she was feeling and thinking about.

Katie and John adopted Bradlee and Sophia last summer and are excited to see their progress.

“Now ages 6 and 4, the kids are completely different from when we first met them,” Katie said. “They have light in their eyes and are happy, safe and turning into the kids they should have always been.”

Bradlee is experiencing challenges in school, but has come so far emotionally, that his family is confident he’ll be able to deal with any road blocks that come his way in the future.

“We are working on where we’re going next down this path of our life together as a forever family,” Katie said.

Jennifer Parsons is the marketing communications manager for CHSW.