This material is copyrighted. Except for your own private use, you may not copy or reproduce it in any way without express permission from Northwest Resource Associates.
Washington's Waiting Children
Lee’Aujanique, who goes by Lee, loves to be active and have fun. She laughs a lot and you should see how her smile lights up her eyes! Lee loves her performing arts class that she attends for 3 hours a week on Saturdays, and she tells her social worker that she wants to be a singer and dancer when she grows up. Lee also loves to participate in talent shows with other kids her age. She also has a fondness for animals and that makes two weekly visits from a service dog a very special treat. Lee is very curious about other people and how they live and about their life stories, especially if their story is anything like hers. Lee is most responsive to adults who use praise and other positive reinforcements to engage her and to gain her trust and cooperation.
Lee wears glasses regularly to help correct a cross-eye condition. Her eye specialist has determined that she will not need surgery to fully correct the condition. He suggests that Lee get contact lenses when she is 18 which will help to correct the condition. Lee is also in need of braces, although she doesn't let that get in the way of giving big smiles to those around her. Dressing up and having her hair done up with pretty, decorative pins and barrettes help Lee feel good about herself.
Legally free, Lee came into foster care initially in August 2007 with her younger brothers. Together the children were too much for families to manage, and to better meet each child’s individual needs, they were placed in separate foster homes. Once the children are in their permanent homes and have demonstrated through their behavior that they can appropriately handle more contact with one another, their adoptive parents will likely want to set up new rules of engagement, so to speak.
Lee is attending a mainstream middle school for half of her curriculum and she has had no behavior issues at school since she started this transition. She is making friends and seems to be interacting with her middle school peers in positive ways. Lee is performing at grade level, although she does require additional supports in school to keep her on track and on task. Lee is high energy and has some attention deficit issues that mostly apparent in her need for assistance with structure and organization in the classroom. Lee’s adoptive parent(s) will need to be able to help her continue building positive social and problem solving skills with peers. She has experienced having a best friend and this was a good learning experience for her.
Lee has made huge progress this year in dealing with her anxiety from past trauma and attachment issues by participating in dialectic behavioral therapy (DBT). She now mentors new kids that enter the DBT group. Her current treatment program includes counseling and medication components to lessen her aggressive verbal responses when she’s feeling angry, and frustrated.
Lee will need ongoing support as she continues to develop behavioral tools and strategies to manage her feelings in healthy ways, and will need a high level of structure and one-on-one attention at home, school and in counseling to aid in the stabilization of her adoptive placement. Lee says that she wants a family of her very own and to be a normal kid, and that she is willing to move out of state for a good match. Lee does have a habit of saying no at first take, but then often changes her mind quickly once she becomes more familiar with the idea and has a chance to think about it.
Being willing to participate with Lee in counseling during her transition into her adoptive home will be a very important way for her adoptive folks to show their love and commitment. It would show, too, that they value using such resources to help family members deal with past hurts and move forward emotionally and behaviorally. Lee will need such supports for the foreseeable future.
Because her sibling connection is so vitally important to her, Lee wants her adoptive family to be open to assisting her in reconnecting with her siblings. The adoptive parents who are able to empathize with her loss and help her maintain her sibling connections with her older sister and her niece will best be able to establish her trust and strengthen her connection to her new family.
Lee's social worker wants to hear from prospective adoptive couples and single moms who have experience and skills with children who have behavioral challenges. Having a good grasp of how chronic early neglect amidst parental substance abuse can impact a child's sense of well-being and her overall development will be important. Of course, Lee's adoptive parent(s) need to take pride in her heritage and help her to feel connected to her African American roots.
Portraits by Yuen Lui
These are "profiles" only and are not intended to provide the detailed information that a family worker and family require in order to make a placement decision.
This "profile" is copyrighted. Except for your own private use, you may not copy, modify, reword or reproduce this profile in any way without express permission from Northwest Resource Associates.