Miracle at St. Vincent’s Children’s Home
When children come to the St Vincent’s Children’s Home it is often because they are having some insurmountable difficulty in their first family or their foster family which requires some special intervention. This is a story of how Miracle came to the Children’s Home and how it changed her life for good.
At the very young age of 6, Miracle witnessed the unthinkable. Her father, who was recovering from a hip replacement accidently combined two of his prescribed medications. The mishap sent his body into shock. Miracle watched helplessly as her mother tried, with no success, to revive him. Her father’s death marked the start of significant change in the lives of Miracle and her siblings.
Miracle’s father was the family’s only form of stability. With him gone, Miracle knew things would never be the same. Her mother struggled with a serious drug addiction that caused her to move in and out of her life. The death of Miracle’s father meant that there was no one left who could properly care for the family, so Miracle and her siblings were removed from their home and placed into foster care.
Struggling in Foster Care Leads to St. Vincent’s Children’s Home
For years Miracle found herself moving from foster home to foster home. Every new home came with a new set of rules and responsibilities, making it difficult for her to adjust. Miracle felt alone and began to rebel against any form of authority. Miracle’s foster care worker decided she needed additional help to cope with her emotional and behavioral issues. At the age of 14, she was sent to the Children’s Home at St. Vincent Catholic Charities (STVCC).
At STVCC, Miracle was connected with case managers and a therapist who helped her develop positive ways to cope with her feelings. She also found herself living with girls her same age, who were also in foster care and had experienced many of the same things as she did in their past. As the time passed, Miracle began to let down her defenses. Allowing her therapist and other staff members to help her when she felt angry or alone. “Before I came to St. Vincent I didn’t have a lot of support” says Miracle. “The staff taught me things that I still use today. Like what it means to be a leader, and not follow what everyone else is doing just to fit in.”
Miracle in Action
Today, Miracle is living w ith her older sister and finishing up high school. While she still faces the typical struggles of being a teenager, she now says she has the necessary tools to get through the emotionally hard days. “I play a lot of sports,” says Miracle. “Basketball, softball, volleyball and track. It keeps me busy so I don’t have to dwell on the things going on with my family. I learned a lot at STVCC about how to cope. I also learned that I am not alone. I have a lot of people who support me. My life is definitely better.”
Miracle hopes that other children in foster care will hear her story and know that they are not defined by their past. “Whatever your parents may have went through, that does not have to be your life. If you want things to be different, you can make that happen for yourself.” For some children the idea of being placed in St. Vincent’s Children’s Home might be seen as an institutional solution. What Miracle learned was that at the Home she had positive role models and access to the tools to set her life on a good path.
St. Vincent’s Children’s Home is staffed 24/7 with direct care workers and therapy staff to help the children in their care learn new ways to cope with difficult circumstances and to stabilize and assess the next steps for the child. The Children’s Home is part of St. Vincent Catholic Charities and is one of several programs focused on child welfare.