I received a referral in October of 2023 for a father and his son. At the first contact with the caseworker, I discovered the child had been in foster care, at this point, for almost 15 months. The case was originally opened due to the mother’s neglect and drug use. The father was incarcerated when the child was put into foster care and had been released. He now wanted to take guardianship.

I did the intake visit at the father’s house. I sat and listened to his story of tragedy, how while he was incarcerated his daughter was born premature addicted to substances and had passed away. He didn’t even know at the time the mother was pregnant. He knew for years he was an alcoholic and now all he wanted to do was make things right for his 3-year-old son who had spent most of his young life in foster care. He vowed to do whatever he could to get his son home and raise him.

My client never missed a visit. He would text me the day before our visit, usually before 5 am, to confirm. He engaged in all the hard conversations. We worked on co-parenting and dealt with some really heavy things. He cried. I encouraged him to join a dad group online.  Not to mention he worked full time third shift and went to therapy.  He never missed parenting time with his son and did the hard work, all while attending his AA meetings and meeting with his parole officer.

We had many FTMs and at every one of them, brought better news for dad. He went from supervised visits, then unsupervised and over nights and extended weekends.

In January 2024, we had our final FTM and dad and son were finally reunified. We were all crying. The bond between this father and son was amazing and to see this man step up and take such action was beyond heartwarming. The love and the support he had from the foster parents was amazing and the bond they shared through this journey was unbelievable. It takes a village and I was so proud to be a part of that village that helped him through one of the most difficult phases of his life.  Happy endings are possible.

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