Lilliana #1


Anyone who has ever had to move knows how traumatic and stressful it can be , especially for children. Now try to imagine a child being taken away from their family, their home and their world. Alone and scared, handed over to complete strangers  through no fault of their own.They do not know where they are going, how long they will be there, who will take care of them and further hurt by the fact that they can only take with them what they can carry. The charade of security and comfort is revealed again and their fate is in the hands of a government agency. Not a pretty picture however, this is the picture for close to 500,000 kids in America whose parents for various reasons can no longer adequately care for their children and therefore lose custody to the State.  These children are then at the mercy of our government to care for them and their many needs by an agency that is understaffed, underfunded and overwhelmed. I have heard from former case workers that the average worker receives about 50 children. That is far too many for one person to care for in a 40 hour work week.

Luckily for this little girl after about 1,095 days in foster care Downey Side was able to place her with one of our families. It was the first week of December and I received a phone call from her worker that her foster care family wanted her removed from their home by December 22nd because they wanted to go to Italy for Christmas and she was an obstacle for them. I couldn’t believe they would make this request and demand a little girl of 4 years old out of their house right before Christmas. I mean, who does that? They did and we worked extra hard to make this happen in such a short period of time. I remember meeting her for the first time and I marveled at how small and scared she was. She was also very confused not understanding what was happening and what this meant for her. She was afraid I too was going to take her away. I spent a lot of time with her and her new family helping them through this transition. The new family had to cope with her nervous energy, bed wetting, nightmares, and bad behaviors.

I’m happy to say that on February 10th of 2014 this little girl was legally adopted by her new family.

photoThe judge had her swear in and sign a document adopting her new family as well.


The family tells me that since the day of adoption this little girl stopped having nightmares, stopped wetting the bed, is performing better in school and most of her difficult behaviors have subsided. It always amazes me how much healing takes place in the broken hearted when they receive what everyone needs and deserves love, stability,  a home and a forever family.

Lilly #3

big sister

If you or someone you know is interested in adoption please contact me. To learn more please see http://downeyside.org/




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  1. Dorothy O'Reilly March 6, 2014 — 4:05 AM

    Thanks, Dawn. So glad this story had a happy ending. It was very heart breaking to read what a nightmare these foster children face in their lives.


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