But Haley’s life has been anything but normal. Her parents have been largely absent and the relatives who raised her put her safety in jeopardy. Since then, she has lived in foster homes and residential facilities over the years.
Haley was living in a residential facility, with around-the-clock staff, when she met with her Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® (WWK) recruiter who had asked her if there was anyone who was a positive influence in her life? Haley mentioned a basketball coach she had years ago who she really liked but she couldn’t remember the school, only the town.
By entering his full name and location into our People Search tool, Haley’s WWK recruiter was able to track down this basketball coach instantly. When reached, he was surprised to hear that Haley was still in foster care after all this time!
“I can’t believe no one has adopted her. She’s such a great kid,” he said.
After county clearance, Haley’s basketball coach started having phone calls and then visits. He would drive several hours, round trip, every other weekend to visit Haley at her residential center. When she moved out of the facility, the basketball coach continued visiting Haley and became qualified as a foster/adoptive parent. Haley moved in last year and the adoption was finalized this year.
At the adoption hearing, the basketball coach’s family and Haley’s siblings were there, and people she connected with in her past, county caseworkers and the WWK recruiter. Everyone was dressed up and gathered in a courtroom. There were a lot of hugs and tears because Haley had been in the system for so long. When the judge asked Haley if this was what she really wanted, she said it was.
“Yes, your honor. I don't ever have to move again. I don’t have to worry about having a family. I don't have to worry about anything. I can finally be a kid now.”
These connections matter. Want to help more children like Haley? You can help today by donating HERE.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.