Fostering Familial Relationships

February 13, 2018

Colin’s mom was addicted to heroin and left her son with different relatives at different times. Sometimes she’d leave Colin with his father who was in and out of their lives.

The last weekend Colin spent with his father ended at Children’s Hospital after Colin suffered a broken leg under suspicious circumstances. Upon being questioned, because his explanation wasn’t consistent with the injury, Colin’s dad left the hospital and never saw Colin again. The hospital contacted Colin’s mom. She arrived at the hospital too high for Colin to be released to her. She checked in to a rehab facility while Colin was placed into foster care because family members were no longer willing to be involved.

Colin flourished in his new foster home. His medical needs from a rare genetic kidney disorder were met and he formed a strong bond with the foster family. Sadly, Colin’s mom came to some visits and missed others as she struggled with sobriety and homelessness and died of an overdose within a few months.

Between his mom’s death and his dad’s abandonment, the court decided that Colin should be adopted by his foster family. Colin’s a great-aunt in California, who he had never met, then came forward and offered her home for Colin. She felt badly about her niece’s death and wondered if things might have been different had she not refused when Colin’s mom had reached out for help.

KidsVoice encouraged and facilitated conversations and a relationship between Colin’s great-aunt and foster mother. During these conversations, the two women developed a friendship. Colin’s great-aunt saw for herself that the foster family was an excellent home for Colin and wanted him to stay there. She ended up withdrawing her request for custody. KidsVoice helped to facilitate a plan for Colin to spend time with the great-aunt in California, which happened because Colin’s foster mother recognizes how important it is for Colin to remain involved with his biological family.

Colin was adopted in January, 2018. While they had been strangers, Colin’s great-aunt now will have a relationship with Colin and his adoptive family. Thanks to KidsVoice supporting and encouraging a relationship between both families, Colin has a connection to his past as well as a bright future in a loving home. Both the great-aunt and foster family recognize that an additional advantage of Colin’s connection to his biological family is the eventual need for a kidney transplant, and his biological family could be the most likely match.