Connect Our Kids’ co-founder Jessica Stern was first introduced to Cornelius a few years ago. At that time, Cornelius told his story of surviving abuse and of his ten years in foster care.
KANSAS: Stacy was removed from her home at age five. Her story is sad and familiar; she had an absent father, who was also a drug user and had a history of neglect. Now 15, Stacey has lived in over 50 placements and is described as angry.
VERMONT: Adam* spent eight years in foster care due to parental substance and physical abuse. Growing up with violence, he developed reactive and physical patterns of behavior that resulted in several failed foster home experiences and eventually he would up living in a group home.
Current Maryland State Delegate, C.T. Wilson, is a happily married man with three children. While professionally successful as a lawyer and lawmaker, C.T.’s achievements in his personal life are what make him truly remarkable. It was not easy for C.T. to find happiness or create a loving family–an experience shared by many of those who have grown up without safety and stability.
OHIO: Emma* has been in foster care for a very long time and she currently lives in a group home. She became a foster child when she started school and has been bounced around a dozen different times, living in foster homes and residential facilities, over the past six years. Her mother was never in her life and her father raised her until he could no longer do so due to his own challenges.
OHIO: Noah* entered foster care as a toddler. His father was never around and his mother was not able to care for him. Now a teenager, it wasn’t until Noah started working with a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® (WWK) recruiter that Noah was able to reconnect with his mother. Thanks to the Connect Our Kids tools, Noah’s WWK recruiter was able to provide him with his mother’s latest, updated contact information.
MISSOURI: Seven-year-old Dylan spent two years in the foster care system. His mother was arrested on drug-related charges and child endangerment. She could not stay clean or complete the tasks needed to have him return to her.
OHIO: Ryan’s father was not in the picture for the first seven years of his life, but his mother was. They spent every day together and took lots of photos, and life was good until Ryan’s mother, who was young and single, went through a tough time and didn’t have the means or family to support him. With few options, she relied on a childless married couple who offered to adopt Ryan and convinced her they could give her a son a better life. They had a lovely house and loved Ryan, so it seemed like a good idea.
KANSAS/HAWAII: Iolana is a fifteen-year-old girl who entered the foster care system a year and a half ago. Tragically, she has lived in 18 different placements in this short time. For children like Iolana, abrupt and repeated disruptions in their environment and relationships can be as traumatic as the situations from which they were removed.
KANSAS: When baby Tyler entered foster care, a family finding team used the Connect Our Kids technology platform to search for family and community connections. They quickly identified 14 siblings and began contacting their caregivers.