My name is Adan, and I am 29. When I was 22, I found out I had a 5-year-old daughter because she was removed from her mother’s care and put into mine.
Going from my previous life as a single man to a father proved to be difficult. I lacked parenting skills and the ability to navigate a healthy relationship with my daughter, Lisa, who had considerable behavioral issues from life with her mother and in foster care.
After three years of living together, Lisa and I got into a small altercation. I regretted my actions immediately, but it was too late. Lisa was taken from me. Thankfully, because of her behavioral issues, she was placed in therapeutic foster care. This led to her eventually making a request for visitation with me so that we could begin to establish a relationship again.
During the first visit through Family Connections, we did an exercise where we both were able to express that we shared a goal of rebuilding our bond and being together. We both were able to reflect on our contribution to issues in the past. Lisa was able to address her behavioral issues and express that she wanted to work on them.
I apologized to her for my missteps and our altercation. I reassured her that none of this was her fault, validating the difficult experiences she had at home with her mother and in foster care.
Family Connections was with us every step of the way. In following visits, we began to bond more and more. In time, my daughter was able to show affection, giving me a big hug at the beginning and end of visits, and sitting comfortably on the couch next to me. We are excited to achieve our goal of reunification soon.
Original story taken from nj.com.