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Hope Blooms Anew

Three-year-old Bella went through unspeakable trauma.

When Jane became the guardian of her niece, she had no idea how much trauma Bella had endured in her short life.

Bella often lashed out with hurtful words and by kicking and hitting Jane. Her cousins became frustrated with Bella because she monopolized Jane’s attention and would break their toys when she was angry.

Thankfully, YOU believe all families should have the tools they need to thrive! When you stepped in to give, you provided pathways to hope and healing for Bella.

The family was at a crisis point when the connected with Building Families. Their Family Specialist, Sarah, helped Jane understand the importance of attachment and the impact of Bella’s trauma on her brain and behaviors.

“We focused on increasing the ‘felt’ safety between guardian and child,” said Sarah. With patience and persistence, Sarah taught Jane skills to support Bella, which built her confidence as a guardian. Jane practiced skills like eye contact, using a calm voice, getting down on Bella’s level when talking to her, and modeling friendly facial expressions. Sarah also worked with Bella to help her cope with her past trauma and the triggers that still impacted her daily life. They used the things Bella loved to find creative ways to work on skills and concepts like healthy touch. It wasn’t easy, and change didn’t happen overnight, but today the family says that they see glimpses of hope and happiness in Bella that they haven’t seen in a long time.

“She has grown so much. I feel like my sweet, lovable niece is back,” said Jane.

Implementing new skills helped Jane focus on creating deeper attachments with Bella rather than only correcting the behavior. Bella is blooming in this new season. Jane is incredibly grateful for the life-change their family has experienced, thanks to donors supporting the Building Families program.

“I have taken many parenting classes. None of them ever talked about [the brain and trauma],” said Jane. “It changes everything and helps me understand her reactions.

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