Aiden is a seven year old boy that I have had the privilege of working with for two years as a Foster Care Child Welfare Specialist. He is a very energetic, sweet, caring and inquisitive child. Aiden loves to go swimming and ride his bike. He got roller blades for his birthday last month, we will see how that goes! Also, Aiden cannot go without his stuffed monkey.
Aiden is always excited to see me, and I am him as well. When I go to visit his foster home, he always hides when I get there so I have to go find him. He is always excited to show me a new toy he got, new headphones or what he is watching on his tablet. He is proud that he is doing well at home and at school and he loves to talk about it. He always asks me questions and then asks questions about the answers. Aiden also gives the best hugs when I leave his house.
Aiden and his older brother Zach had a difficult start to their lives. Their home life was very unstable and they often had to care for and watch out for themselves. They were placed in foster care in 2018. Though the boys were initially placed together, their challenging behaviors led to them being separated.
Zach moved to a foster home and never left. It would become his forever home. Aiden, on the other hand, had a more difficult path. Aiden lived with two caring families who ultimately felt they couldn’t devote the time and support that he needed.
Then I found Charles and Melanie. They were in the process of becoming licensed foster parents with Chaddock. I talked with them about Aiden and his difficulties. They were willing to meet Aiden and spent a weekend together getting to know each other. After the weekend, Charles and Melanie decided they wanted to be his foster parents. Since that time, Aiden has grown so much. They have been amazing with him.
Charles and Melanie did not become foster parents to adopt, preferring to offer security to a number of children. Then in August of this year, they took Aiden to a wedding. Aiden was very excited to get dressed up. Charles was the best man. As he walked down the aisle, Aiden waved and said “Hi Daddy!” Aiden continued to wave at him during the ceremony. At the reception, Aiden danced his little heart out the entire time. Melanie sent me a picture of Aiden and Charles at the reception. He still had on his tie and you could tell how much fun he was having. In my opinion, this truly is where Charles and Melanie discovered how big a part of their family Aiden had become.
On August 30, 2020, Melanie sent me a text message telling me they had decided to adopt Aiden. When I read the message, I just sat on my couch and cried. I have been trying to find this amazing kid a home for two years, and God had finally led me to the perfect family. About a week after Melanie told me they were going to adopt, I went over to see them. They told me Aiden’s reaction at first was as if he was a little confused. However, when I talked with him and asked him if he was excited that he was going to stay there forever, his eyes lit up and he gave me that big Aiden smile, which now has four missing teeth in the front.
I have watched Aiden go from being a child with some pretty significant behavioral issues to a child that is sweet, caring and loving. He has become very stable with Charles and Melanie and they have been absolutely amazing. They are a family. This profession is not the easiest to work in and there are ups and downs along the way. But this is the absolute highest up. When you are able to work with a child like Aiden, they grow on you and you bond and connect with them. You grow to love them and want the absolute best for them. Sometimes that is be reunified with their family. Sometimes it isn’t. But Aiden has found his forever home and he is loved and cared for by two of the best foster parents I have had the privilege of working with. This is why I do this job.