Success Stories Donte G.

Stacy Desalin did not plan to adopt Donte. “I thought I’d just be a short-term foster parent, but I was so impressed when I first met him, and he kept on impressing me so much that I knew I had to.”

Donte lived at Children’s Village for five years and really struggled in school and had difficulty relating to people. Staff worked hard to help him open up. It wasn’t until Donte met his Mentor Tusaret that things started to change. Over the first few months that Donte and Tusaret started spending time together big changes started happening. Staff noticed that Donte would talk about his day, offer to help around the cottage, and smile more.

After four months of having a mentor Donte’s permanency team found him a potential foster parent. Staff were optimistic that Donte was ready for this move because they had seen such improvement in Donte’s ability to share and open up with people. When Donte first met his foster mom, Ms. Desalin, it was rough, but things improved over time.

“At first it was difficult. He had a hard time talking to me about things and even addressing me. After a few months though, things began to get better. He even called me ‘Mom’, and that’s when I knew we would be ok.”

Donte has now lived with his new family for a year and is doing well. Ms. Desalin keeps him focused through afterschool activities, church, and music lessons. Just like all families, Ms. Desalin and Donte are still figuring some things out, but they are on the right track. “Things aren’t perfect, but they get better every day. I know that we are both blessed.”

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