Teen Reunites With Long-Lost Mom & Aunt

April 22, 2022
OHIO: Leon* has entered foster care on two separate occasions. The first time was as an infant when his young single mother struggled to care for him. As a high school dropout with two other young children, she was overwhelmed and had little support. She relinquished her parental rights and entrusted Leon’s care to a family friend, hoping to give him a better life.

After several years in their care, Leon was adopted by another couple.  With a new name, family, and hometown, Leon grew up without a deep sense of personal identity.  

In his preteen years, Leon was placed in a temporary residential program to assist with stabilizing his adolescent behaviors. While Leon was getting help, his adoptive mother abandoned him and moved out of state.  Leon was naturally devastated and would spend the next two years in various foster care settings.

A Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® (WWK) recruiter from Northeast Ohio Adoption Services came into his life.  She quickly located his mother and aunt using the Connect Our Kids People technology platform.    Reunited with Leon on a phone call, his mother and aunt were shocked to learn Leon was not well-cared for and loved.

Already a licensed foster caregiver, Leon’s aunt immediately offered to give him a home.   It takes time for a child to build trust again.  After misbehaving his first time, Leon panicked that he would once again be placed in the foster care system.  His aunt reassured him that they were family -  forever.  She has since adopted Leon, and he has returned to using his birth family nickname.  Happy to be with family again, Leon enjoys athletics, and is socially outgoing.  His aunt offers stability, engagement and, most importantly, unconditional love.

Connections Matter. Want to help more youth like Leon? You can help today by donating HERE.

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

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