I Make A Difference Moment
Recently we shared an I Make A Difference story that was 5 years in the making. Here is one from a foster care worker in her first job out of college:
I have a little boy on my caseload. He is very smart. He’s the type of little kid you can’t help but just love. He has all the big boy teeth still growing in and he actually looks just like the boy from Stewart Little. He has been in and out of foster care a few times. Each time, his parents did what was needed to allow their child to return home. Since he came into care this time, I have been working with this little boy for about 3 months.
He was originally placed in a foster home that was a very nice setting with a great family who took care of him. However, due to the current health pandemic, the foster family asked if we could find somewhere else for him to stay. With the wonderful efforts and help from my supervisor and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), we were able to find him a new foster home that is closer to his school and family. We moved him to the new foster placement on March 30.
This little boy was the first child I had to remove from a home. When I arrived to pick him up, he hugged the past family goodbye and then got into my car. The short 30 minute ride to the new foster home was one I will never forget. He kept asking why they didn’t want him anymore and telling me that he already missed them. I remember telling him that it was okay to feel sad for a little while, but to always keep looking forward and think about the good things about them but more importantly to remember the good things that are about to come.
He was quiet for a moment, so I asked him, “What did you like about this family we are going to see now?” He began to tell me about how they have other kids around his age and about all the animals they have there too, especially the cool pet bird that screams sometimes. He talked my ear off for the rest of the ride about how he hopes one of the animals would sleep with him when he goes to bed.
Since being at the new home he has learned how to ride a bike without training wheels, what it’s like to have many other foster siblings around all of the time and what it is like to live with some interesting pets. When I check on him through video calls, he appears happy, like the truest and purest form of happiness shines out of him when he comes to the screen or shows me something new he learned that day.
I am happy I was able to make a difference in his life now that he is placed with a family that is more able to meet his needs. He will never forget when he learned to ride a bike (without training wheels) or that he gets to hear a fancy pet bird scream when he wants to be held. I gave him the reassurance, stability and hope to see the best in this new placement as well as stable person he can come to when he needs someone. With the help of my supervisor and MDHHS we were able to place this little boy into a great foster home where he has thrived more than ever before.
On top of his never ending little moments, he doesn’t realize that he has actually given me my own make a difference moment. He gave me the ability to truly see why foster care workers do what we do. It helps to be a listening ear, a guide to see the brighter side of things and to just be a stable person in a child’s life that is filled with uncertainty. This is one little boy I will never forget.