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Alone in an Institution, Teen Now Has Family Visits

MISSISSIPPI: As an infant, Meghan entered foster care because her father was unknown and her mother’s parental rights were terminated due to her incarceration. Meghan was still a baby when she got adopted by a family in Arkansas. Over time, her adoptive family relocated to the Mississippi Delta, where Meghan grew up hundreds of miles away from her biological family.

At 14, Meghan re-entered the foster care system because her adoptive parents could no longer meet her needs. With no ties to her adoptive or biological family, Meghan would go on to spend the next two years living in a series of therapeutic residential facilities and group home care. 

When a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® (WWK) recruiter from the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services received Meghan’s case, she had no leads. However, once the WWK recruiter got Meghan’s biological mother’s name from her previous adoptive mother, she found over two dozen of Meghan’s maternal relatives on Connect Our Kids’ People Search. The WWK team is also in the process of confirming the contacts the Family Connections tool found on the paternal side of the family. 

Lacey, the WWK supervisor overseeing Meghan’s case, was particularly touched by the outcome of the diligent family search effort. “It’s made such a difference because one day we didn’t have anything, and then [the recruiter] reworked Family Connections and Facebook together, and then suddenly, we had all of these places to search… [Meghan] wouldn’t have any connections otherwise because the relationships with her [previous] adoptive family were marred.”

Since this incredible discovery, Meghan has had a couple of visits from her two maternal aunts, whom Meghan never knew existed. Because of the relatives Meghan’s WWK recruiter found on Connect Our Kids, Meghan has had a noticeable emotional shift knowing she has family out there. 

Connect Our Kids is a non-profit dedicated to leveraging technology to find families, build connections, and create community for children in the foster care system. To help support connection-finding for children like Meghan, donate HERE and help write a brighter ending for others.

Names have been changed to protect privacy.

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