You might be surprised to learn how many grandparents in your community are raising their grandchildren.

You’re helping some of those very same grandparents find healing and hope a second time around.

Just like strong and feisty Joseph, who began living with his grandma at the age of four. His grandma did her best to provide a home and enrolled him in school, but unlike many children his age, he didn’t know his numbers or colors. He was behind, and he spent every day fighting to overcome the first four years of his life.

Life was hard for him. 

Can you imagine living with a mom who was using drugs and drifted in and out of relationships? It was far more than little Joseph could bear, much less to process and comprehend. You can imagine, then, Joseph’s struggle to rest at night. He struggled to get up in the mornings and refused to go to school. When he did go, he couldn’t focus. This was more than attention-deficit; this was circumstantial hardship. Joseph’s grandmother was at a loss, but thanks to you, everything changed when a pediatrician recommended that she call Thornwell.

Your kindness is what gave Joseph’s grandmother that option–Building Families. 

Building Families Specialist Katie Brophy began visiting with Joseph and his grandma. During the initial visits, Joseph made it clear, with choice expletives, that he didn’t want anything to do with Katie.

But it wasn’t long before Katie learned that Joseph shared a love for grapes, and she began to gain his trust.

Beneath the hard exterior, Joseph didn’t feel safe; he was restless and scared.

You might be surprised to learn just how tough Joseph is. He would leave the house and search for his mother at night. As a small and mighty four-year-old, he felt responsible.

You helped him be a kid again.

Katie stood with his grandma, quite literally in the trenches, to meet Joseph right where he was.

Katie taught Joseph’s grandmother how to help him feel safe while also implementing some consistent routines. They would meet in the morning before school and again for bedtime in the evenings. Katie stood with his grandma, quite literally in the trenches, to meet Joseph right where he was. Slowly but surely, grandma began earning back the role of parent, and Joseph began responding to the trauma tactics and consistent structure. Once he really felt a sense of safety, he began to sleep…and wake up rested, ready for school. Joseph missed the first 35 days of school, but today, he attends regularly and even earned ‘most improved student’ in his classroom.

Building family is a process; that’s why we believe it’s so important to provide families like Joseph and his grandma aftercare support services one year after they’ve graduated. 

 

 

You can make a gift today to impact more families like Joseph’s.

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