Can you imagine a child orphaned in another country, adopted by a family in the United States and later abandoned who then enters foster care at the age of eleven and endures many traumatic experiences along the way? Where does a child like this turn for help?
That happened to Patricia and here is her story.
Patricia began her life in a Romanian orphanage, which resulted in significant childhood trauma. At age four she was adopted by an American family who found Patricia’s trauma too difficult to cope with. At the age of eleven her adoptive parents turned her over to the state’s child welfare system. Patricia was placed in foster care, hospitalized for psychiatric treatment, spent time in group homes and other residential placements before finally arriving at theVillage at age 15. She felt abandoned, angry, and lost, and was unwilling to trust anyone. In her own words, “I was very young starting out in residential treatment and had a hard time trusting people who I didn’t know. It was hard, at first, adjusting to the program at theVillage.”
While it was hard at first, Patricia came to see that theVillage is a place of hope. Eventually, Patricia understood that theVillage is a safe place where kids like her can get the help they need to heal and begin to thrive. She took advantage
of many therapies available here and particularly enjoyed art therapy and working with theVillage’s therapist, Miss Cynthia. “I felt like I had no family who cared about me but Miss Cynthia really helped me work through my issues of anger and loss.” She also benefited from equine therapy where girls in the residential program learn how to problem solve and socialize through working with a therapist and horses. “Everyone at the farm was so nice and helpful. Going to the farm and on other trips gave me a chance to have contact with people outside of theVillage too.”
Later on, Patricia transitioned to theVillage’s campus-based group home and then into a supervised independent living program where she learned life skills to help her succeed when she would leave care. “Mr. Lou helped by seeing the good in me and talking to me about what life would be like when I become an adult.” Patricia also said that one of theVillage’s residential staff, Miss Comfy, was like a mom to her and helped her feel safe. She added that many other staff spent a lot of time providing emotional support that helped her succeed in school and in therapy. She went on to graduate from high school and entered college while still living at theVillage.
Today, Patricia is thriving and well on her way to success as an adult thanks to help from generous people like you! Patricia is about to enter her junior year and plans to graduate on time. She works at her school’s office that provides support and assistance to students at her university. When she graduates, Patricia plans to pursue a master’s degree and become a speech-language pathologist so that she can help other children once she enters the working world. She even is in contact with some relatives and spends time with them when she can. Patricia is a true story of success and we are proud that we were able to be so instrumental in helping her on her journey toward success and independence!