December 31, 2017
I see her every morning, running to me, saying ‘Mommy, mommy, good morning, I love you.’ That doesn’t have a price.” —Evelyn
Josie was exposed to drugs in the womb and was placed in the care of a foster family at birth. At age 1, Josie joined Wayfinder Family Services’ early intervention program. She couldn’t walk. She was unable to track objects with her eyes. She struggled with fine motor skills, like putting objects into small holes.
Evelyn was Josie’s first Wayfinder specialist. “As soon as she saw me, Josie started yelling like she knew me,” remembers Evelyn. Nothing like this had ever happened to Evelyn in her work with special needs children. “It was like she chose me in that moment,” says Evelyn.
Evelyn used her professional skills to improve Josie’s fine motor skills and vision. Their bond grew. “I was always thinking about Josie,” says Evelyn. “I kept dreaming about her.” After four months, Josie’s foster mother asked if Evelyn wanted to adopt the little girl? Yes! At 21 months old, Josie became Evelyn’s daughter.
Josie continued to receive services from a colleague of Evelyn’s at Wayfinder Family Services. Josie began walking, and then to Evelyn’s amazement, running! When Josie was tested at age two-and- a-half, her developmental scores were so high, she would not need special education classes.
“I’m always going to be so grateful to Wayfinder that I had the opportunity to meet my baby,” says Evelyn. Today, to practice Josie’s motor skills, they run and jump and walk on the sidewalk lines. They play with Legos to bolster Josie’s fine motor skills. Josie will start dance lessons next year. She wants to learn to play the piano. “Whatever she wants to try, I’m going to be next to her to support her,” says Evelyn. Josie’s adoption will be finalized in March 2018. But they are already a family.