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You Need to Do Right by That Little Girl

VERMONT: Hazel* is a pre-teen girl who only wears dresses, sometimes with a matching bow in her pale blonde hair. Her hair is a distinctive family characteristic that has always been a mystery to her. She grew up without her father, and the few relatives she knew of all had dark hair. Hazel entered foster care when her single mother became abusive.

In Hazel’s short time in foster care, she moved through several homes for reasons that bewildered staff who knew her. She was a quiet kid, and her behavior was never the cause for home removal. Eventually, Hazel met Macie, a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® (WWK) recruiter from Lund. Macie asked Hazel if there was anyone she’d like to be connected to. There was. 

“Yes. My dad. I never met him,” Hazel said. 

Macie immediately found Hazel’s father and family using LexisNexis and Connect Our Kids’ People Search. She wrote everyone letters and hoped for the best. A week later, Macie heard from Hazel’s dad, but he wanted nothing to do with his daughter. Macie was devastated to hear this until Hazel’s father called again a few weeks later to apologize profusely. It turns out that Hazel’s father’s side of the family got Macie’s letter, and they were shocked to discover Hazel’s existence. The whole paternal side of the family confronted Hazel’s dad at his birthday party. They even refused to sing “Happy Birthday” until he changed his mind about bringing Hazel into their lives.

“You need to do right by that little girl!” they told him. 

And that’s exactly what he did. She now bonds with her dad every weekend and is closer than ever. Today, Hazel is embraced by her newfound family. She lives on a farm with relatives who have chosen to adopt her. They are all committed to being in her life forever. It’s not even a question. Hazel also sees herself in them, they have pale blonde hair, just like her.

To directly create more outcomes like Hazel’s, please donate HERE.  Connect Our Kids is a nonprofit dedicated to leveraging technology to find families, build connections, and create community for children in the foster care system.

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

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