Reunification programs at Family Connections empower parents to build up the skills needed to raise their children well.
For Isabelle, who was young and unexperienced, caring for her 2 adopted children with special needs proved to be far more difficult than she ever expected.
Here is her full story:
“I was raised in an emotionally abusive household. Then I married a man who was just like my father. We adopted our kids from the Ukraine when they were 15 months and 18 months old. It turned out both of them had pretty serious special needs.
At the same time that I was separating from my husband, we were charged with abuse and neglect and the State took the kids away. Stuff had happened that shouldn’t have happened. I wasn’t a strong person. The best thing was that they took my kids and got me to Family Connections.
When I got there, nobody else had believed I’d ever get my kids back. But I never missed a meeting and I learned to trust the counselors. They helped me learn things about myself. Every baby step of progress I made, they were there to cheer me on. They gave me my strength back.
I learned you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of your kids. Now, for the first time, I’m really enjoying life and enjoying my kids. I’m capable of taking care of them in a calm way, even though they have very special needs.
I have great family and friends. And I have Family Connections. When I have a bad day, I talk to my supports and I just keep climbing up the hill. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t remember what it was like when I didn’t have my kids. So whatever I have to do to help them, I just do it. And the bottom line is, we’re together. And as long as we keep talking to each other and trusting each other, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.”