Connecting with Grandparents
I connected a youth with his maternal grandparents. He had their phone number, but was afraid to call because he had not seen them in seven years. I made the call and was thrilled to hear how his grandparents missed him and were willing to help and support him in any way they could! Once he knew they wanted to connect, he was able to call them himself. A few weeks later, he moved in with them. He now has not only their support, but his Aunt and Uncle from whom he had also been estranged. These family connections will help support him as he graduates high school this year and heads to University in the fall. He will now have a place to go on weekends and holidays too!
Connecting to Heritage
For years, we have worked with a young man whose adoption broke down. I knew his family of origin lived in another region, but there had been many concerns resulting in the youth and his younger siblings becoming extended society wards. I recently learned his older brother wanted to be reunited with him. This older brother also remains connected to other family members. The two brothers reconnected immediately. Within days of reconnecting, the older brother picked up his younger brother—who had been homeless—and brought him home. Then they met their mother and another older brother after many years of separation. This youth had been lost since he came back into care. Assumptions were made that he had no one. Now, he has a family and a connection to his heritage.
Connecting to Grandparents
Last summer, I participated in a visit between a youth and his grandparents who had not been together for over three years. From the moment they saw one another, it was evident they were connected. Grandma remembered a special cake her grandson was quite fond of and so she baked it especially for him. Grandpa affectionately referred to his grandson as ‘Scooter’ and the two enjoyed checking out grandpa’s vintage Thunderbird car. A particularly moving moment occurred when they went through a photo album grandma put together. The album and visit reminded this youth that he is very much loved and there are people out there who care about him. It just took arranging a visit to make this happen.
I facilitated a family meeting with a teenager to help him understand there were people who were committed to him and would support him long after his 18th birthday. We developed a plan of support that reduced his anxiety about what would happen once he turns 18. He is now able to focus on completing high school and participating in the volunteer activities he enjoys. No one should worry about turning 18!