Their tears could be heard throughout the home. Three siblings sat tightly together, cocooning their mother with their little bodies. The family visit lasted an hour, all the children in Possibilities Children’s Home receive a visit with their biological parents and family members each week. This sibling set of three recently moved into the home and are still struggling to adjust to new beds, new rules, new adults.
All around them, family visits were coming to an end. Eleven-year old Miguel* and his father rose from their seats and began to walk toward the new siblings. Miguel listened to the children cry, begging their mother not to go, and he felt something familiar rise up. He remembered sitting in that very place not long ago, desperate to stay next to his father.
“You know what?” His brown eyes leveling with each of them as he walked up beside where they sat. “When I first came here, I cried a lot, too. I didn’t want be here, and I didn’t like the rules. I thought everyone was against me and I wanted my freedom back. I also wondered if my dad would ever visit.” Miguel took a deep breath and sat down, making sure he was at their eye level. “But you don’t have to cry, because here they are going to love you. You are going to be fine and safe. They will take care of you and you will have everything you need.”
Miguel has not always exhibited such empathy. When he first arrived with his four siblings, the young boy was angry. He struggled to fit his ideas of a good life into the expectations of his caregivers for safe living.
“He simply wasn’t used to structure,” shared Lisa and Rick Bursey, Back2Back staff. “He knew how to easily manipulate, and in his anger, he wanted to continue to live without accountability to any adults.”
Miguel and the caregivers at Possibilities Children’s Home had to work together, adjusting to each other, developing trust. It took eight months of defiance, but then Miguel changed.
“It was as if he woke up from sleeping and realized he was being well cared for. He was loved and safe,” shared Lisa and Rick. Once Miguel realized his best interests were at the heart of those caring for him, he participated within the home, exhibiting happiness, and connecting to his father who regularly visits. Miguel will likely have more moments where he’d rather be outside of the home than within, but he is growing to accept love from those around him. Accepting love and expressing empathy are signs of a healing heart and look like hope for those new siblings just beginning down this path.