By the time Mia was placed with her foster parents, Joseph and Traci, she was severely traumatized and almost nonverbal. At only five years old, she’d already endured sexual abuse, chronic neglect, and frequent hunger.
As a result, she’d become hyper-vigilant, with severe defense mechanisms like extreme tantrums and urinating on herself. Making things worse, Mia was also on the autism spectrum.
The toughest kid ever placed
Within the first three weeks of living with Joseph and Traci—along with her six-year-old sister and baby brother—Mia was kicked out of her school. At her new school, she rarely made it through the day without needing to be picked up early. Twice within two years, she required placement in the mental health unit of an area hospital. The only thing in Mia’s bedroom was her bed because she destroyed everything, including furniture.
Mia has been described as the toughest kid ever placed through Nexus-Kindred Family Healing. She even needed an in-home therapist for crisis management and interventions.
Commitment pays off
But Joseph and Traci knew Mia was a great kid who had to work through the wounds of her trauma. As a couple, they decided they would not give up on any of the foster children in their care. They would be the “last stop” for kids that had gone through many other placements and disruptions.
Their stubborn commitment to Mia made a difference. Today, at 10, she’s excelling in school—especially in art. She no longer has issues with emotional dysregulation and is successfully navigating life.
“The sky is the limit for her,” says Joseph. In fact, Mia and her older sister are in the process of being adopted by Joseph’s parents, who have the time to give Mia the one-on-one attention she needs to thrive. Meanwhile, Joseph and Traci have continued to foster 12 other young kids with similar backgrounds to Mia. They credit the resources they receive from Nexus-Kindred—and the hands-on support of their families—with helping them care for 4 or 5 young foster children in their home at any given time.