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From Spending Thanksgiving Alone in an Institution to Christmas with Family

VERMONT: Earl’s* mother has never been part of his life, but he did grow up with a loving father. They were close, and when Earl was about ten years old, his whole world fell apart when he discovered his father had died of a drug overdose. Earl entered foster care because no known relatives could take him in. 

Once in the system, Earl would spend the next two years bouncing around many residential institutions and in-patient facilities. Last Thanksgiving, he was alone in an institution with staff. It was heartbreaking moments like those that made Earl feel even more isolated. 

When Anna, a Lund adoption intern, took up Earl’s case, she used Connect Our Kids tools, with the aid of Seneca Search, to begin meticulously piecing together Earl’s family tree. Seneca Search populated two names in particular: Bob and Mary,* the grandparents of Earl’s half-brother. Anna found their latest phone number on our People Search, and they were thrilled to hear from Anna. They strongly wanted to be involved in Earl’s life. When Anna and her supervisor spoke with Earl about Bob and Mary, he remembered them from early childhood. 

Shortly after that conversation, and weeks after a lonely Thanksgiving, Earl spent Christmas with Bob and Mary, just like he had done as a toddler. Bob and Mary are now very involved in Earl’s life, and there is talk about adoption. Anna also found many more relatives on Connect Our Kids who want to be in Earl’s life.

They sent Anna and her supervisor so many photos that they bought a photo album for Earl. With all the connections that Anna and her Lund supervisor found on Connect Our Kids, it’s safe to say that Earl will never spend the holidays alone again. 

“Connect Our Kids and their People Search tool has been crucial to piecing together [Earl’s] family tree and finding current addresses and phone numbers of the relatives who want to be a part of his life,” Anna said.

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

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

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