Jamie and Aaron
Jamie and Aaron* were leaders of a church youth group in Tulsa, Oklahoma when they learned of the situation of two brothers who attended their teen group program. The youth, ages 15 and 16, had been abandoned by their mother. They were also going to be move across the state due to overcrowding at the youth shelter they were currently living at.
Jaime and Aaron, were shocked to learn this and worked with the Department of Human Services (DHS) to return the boys to Tulsa so they could return to the support of their church. The couple wanted to know what else they could do. Eckerd Kids’ Group Home Diversion staff, which works with older youth, got them in touch with the staff in Eckerd’s Therapeutic Foster Care Program.
The couple went through the training and certification process. In January 2014, they became Eckerd Kids’ third Therapeautic Foster Care (TFC) home in the state of Oklahoma and took the boys into their home. The boys had a tough adjustment as they were not used to following rules, but Jamie and Aaron made the commitment to be the parents these boys needed. They closely monitored internet and social interactions, monitored school attendance and grades, and most of all – let the boys know that they were loved.
Now 18, the older brother has been accepted into a local community college and has a lease signed on his first apartment. His younger brother has improved his school attendance and performance. More importantly, he will be formally adopted by Jamie and Aaron in June. Two years ago, these were troubled youth with an uncertain future. Today they have their second chance. One is starting college, one has a new forever family.
*Last names excluded and photo changed to protect youth identity.