Family: Three Thanksgiving Stories

little boy smiling

LaTosha and Jai’el
When baby Jai’el was diagnosed with vision impairment and other developmental disabilities, his devoted mother, LaTosha, contacted Wayfinder’s Early Intervention Program to help strengthen his vision and communication ability. Via teletherapy during the pandemic, Margie, one of Wayfinder’s vision specialists, helped Jai’el make remarkable progress in just under a year. Now, he looks carefully at toys and other objects while holding them in his hand. And he is making progress in all developmental areas! According to Margie, “Jai’el is a wonderful, funny, silly character. He makes me laugh and brings everyone around him joy.” Energetic LaTosha has so much compassion for people going through similar challenges that she pays it forward by engaging and supporting other parents in the Early Intervention Program.

“Wayfinder and Margie have been so good to us! The smallest acts of kindness can turn into the biggest joys.”

Wayfinder’s Early Intervention Program maximized vision and reduced developmental delays for 1,047 children with visual or multiple disabilities, ages 0 to 6, last year.

Give today to help families like Latosha and Jai’el’s.

little boy and his mom smiling

Tianna and Marshawn
Tianna wanted to be a mother, but after unsuccessful attempts, she thought this would never happen for her. Then she found Wayfinder, which was happy to help Tianna adopt to become a single mom. Wayfinder introduced Tianna to 2-year-old Marshawn, and they began to get to know each other. One day, Marshawn arrived at Tianna’s house for a visit needing a nap. Tianna held him till he fell asleep on her shoulder. “He was a chunky butterball, and my arms were hurting,” Tianna says. “It was a special thing to hold this child who had enough trust to fall asleep in my arms. When I held him in my arms, I cried happy tears. I tell him I fell in love with him at that moment.” Marshawn likes to hear this story every day, and when it’s over, he says, “Tell me again!” In February 2021, after a pandemic delay of 10 months, Tianna adopted Marshawn. They celebrated with a backyard barbecue featuring all of Marshawn’s favorite foods.“I am very thankful that I get to be his mom. It’s the most important thing that has happened in my life.”

Wayfinder’s Foster Care and Adoption program found loving homes for 662 children across the state last year.

Give today to help families like Tianna and Marshawn’s.

young girl looks out window

Aaron and Kendra
Ten-year-old Kendra found her mother unconscious and watched as a neighbor tried unsuccessfully to revive her. This was the final, traumatic event in Kendra’s life with her mother, who had struggled with substance abuse. Kendra went to live with her father, Aaron, and stepmother, Sara, who had been unaware of many of her mother’s struggles. Though Aaron and Sara welcomed Kendra with open arms, the girl struggled to express her emotions about her mom. Kendra began harming herself. Aaron and Sara quickly sought help from Wayfinder’s mental health therapy program. For a year, Wayfinder’s therapists helped Kendra process her mother’s death and rebuild a relationship with Aaron. Today, Kendra is opening up to her father and stepmother and relishing her new role as a big sister to her newborn half-brother.

“Without your mental health services, I wouldn’t have known how to help Kendra. Thank you for giving me back my little girl.”

Wayfinder’s mental health services increased resiliency in 166 children, adults and families last year.

Give today to help families like Aaron and Kendra’s.