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Katie was born in an unstable environment to drug-addicted parents. She and her sisters never went to the same school for more than one year, spent two years in different foster care environments, and didn’t see a dentist until they came to live with their Aunt Gloria. Katie was only five years old.
“All the caseworker said was that Katie may have behavioral issues,” Gloria said. “It quickly became apparent that it was more.”
Katie ended up hospitalized twice and eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder and intermittent explosive disorder. But help for Katie was hard to find, and when Gloria could find services for Katie, they were only short-term solutions and didn’t address all of her needs.
“I was at the end of my rope. I couldn’t find anyone willing to help,” Gloria said. In desperation, she dug out an old handbook she got from Katie’s DCFS caseworker and called every number in it. It was Metropolitan that told her she and Katie were eligible for the Adoption Preservation program and connected her with therapist Tiaira Robinson.
“It didn’t take long to trust her,” Gloria said. “She knows exactly how to handle Katie’s situation.”
For a year now Katie has received therapy, psychiatric services, anger management classes, therapeutic day camp, and weekly visits with a mentor. Her relationships with her family – Gloria, her husband Shannon and their three children in addition to Katie’s two sisters – have improved.
Though typically Adoption Preservation families receive services for one year, Tiaira has applied to extend Katie’s services to preserve her progress as she enters middle school this fall.
“We will not leave you without help. That’s never going to happen,” Gloria said Tiaira told her.
“It has definitely made life a little easier,” Gloria said. “I’m not too scared of the future now.”