Editor's Note: Window on the Clearwater has joined the Wednesday's Child network to help spread the word about children that are waiting for families to give them the loving care that they need. Each Wednesday we will profile a different child. For more information about Wednesday's Child and how you can be involved check the web site at: http://www.idahowednesdayschild.org/.
Troy, Ileaha, Sereck, Kyle & Arilia
It's hard not to have a smile on your face when you spend time with Troy, Ileaha, Sereck, Kyle and Arilia. This is a group of siblings who are tightly bonded and enjoy having fun, whether it's joking around and teasing each other or riding scooters at the park. With a rich Navajo heritage and a strong sibling bond, these kids need a family that can embrace their culture and provide a structured, nurturing home. The rewards for doing so will be endless.
"Something you should know about me is that I want to be in the military, so I'll be looking into recruitment after school. My life has not been perfect--I've made mistakes--but I think I could gain knowledge and skills in the military."
Because of his present placement in a group home, Troy has not been able to fully participate in school sports. That's something he hopes might change in an adoptive family. He would like to live in a family that goes to sports events, including his. He deserves his time on the field/court as a player!
Troy relates equally well with children of all ages. He likes hanging out with male friends. He does have a connection to a local Protestant congregation and has some relationships with individuals who attend with him.
Troy's previous foster mom said that he is very helpful. That also extends to being a protector to his younger siblings. He shows his affection through teasing, which is not always appreciated or understood. It's been difficult this past year living apart from them. He hopes one family can help them reunite. It won't be easy, but it will be worthwhile. These children are very bonded, which is easily seen if you look past the teasing and a bit of sibling rivalry. A strong part of their Navajo heritage is the strength found in family ties. That can become a healing part of their future in your family.
Troy is very interested in the Navajo culture and honoring his ancestors in the way he lives his life. He remains interested in his biological family and continues to connect with them on Facebook.
Troy does well in environments with structure and fair rules. When he's involved in sports and other positive activities, the day just goes better. You may be the parent that could help him find the self-confidence and knowledge he is seeking.
"Hi, my name is Ileaha. My favorite subjects in school are Reading and Math. I like reading because I can get my mind off things if I'm not having a wonderful day. I also like swimming and sports, especially if we do those as a family. I would love to go to some really neat water parks with my family. Someday I might want to become a nurse or a cop."
"Still waters run deep" is a saying that describes Ileaha. She is quiet and thinks before speaking. She can be very spontaneous, but this comes only when she becomes comfortable in an environment. She is slow to trust, which has been a coping mechanism that probably protected her. An adoptive family will need to earn her trust. Once it's given, it will be a gift of great value. Treasure it.
Ileaha is athletic and enjoys being at athletic events -- even just sitting in the bleachers. Though she can be shy around large groups, she really shines around children. She seems to be a wonderful caretaker for little ones. She has an especially close bond with her younger sister, Arilia.
Ileaha enjoys learning about her Navajo culture. Her adoptive family's connection with her will come from keeping her and her siblings connected with their heritage and honoring its place their lives.
Ileaha has worked hard to complete educational goals. She will need a parent who recognizes the importance of maintaining and encouraging that progress.
"Hi, I'm Sereck. The most important trait I'd like to see in parents is that they protect the little ones. Someday I might like to go hunting with my family. I might also want to try skydiving. That might not happen, though, because I'm afraid of heights! I like to hang out at the skate park and I also like sports. My favorite subjects in school are Math and Science. I'd like a family that likes to attend school and sports events with all of us. I love football, basketball and baseball. I might like to serve in the Navy or some branch of the military. I really want to travel, maybe go out of the United States. I'd also like to try out for the NFL."
Sereck is very coordinated with athletic endeavors and competitive in sporting activities. Over the last couple of years, he's been involved in the school's basketball team and track team. He's also been involved in city recreational baseball and jujitsu. Sereck very much identifies himself with school society and sports. He enjoys participating in Navajo cultural activities. All three are integral parts of Sereck's identity.
Sereck can also be a tease and likes to poke gentle fun at his siblings. Troy's separation from the family has created an unnatural rift between the two that could be mended by a strong, understanding father figure. Both of these brothers thrive on positive reinforcement and acknowledgement of things they do well. Emphasizing individual talents, but also spending time together in physical activities, could help them re-establish their family bond...and forge a new one with their father.
"Hi, I'm Kyle. I like going to the skate park, swimming or anything active. The most important things in my life are playing sports and having friends. No matter what family we have, they need to know that I want to stay in contact with my brothers, my teachers and my friends. The most important trait in parents would be that they are protective with their children and they encourage us to be active and to stay in school. I would enjoy practicing basketball, football and soccer with my family. It would also be fun to go paint balling, play air soft wars, and hunt with them. I'd like to ride a roller coaster too."
Kyle not only likes sports, he is quite gifted in this area. He is a very dedicated athlete.
Described as very social at school, his siblings describe him as a leader among his friends. Reserved and sensitive in a family setting, Kyle tends to walk away when things get tense. This may be his way of keeping the peace. It's a healthy coping strategy as long as he has an understanding parent who gives him quiet opportunities to express his emotions, rather than bottling them up inside.
Kyle identifies himself with the Navajo culture and also with school society. He thrives when he's around his peers and is usually in the center of what's going on. He enjoys spending time at the skate park and the library. In the past, he has been involved in baseball and jujitsu. He was recently involved in a middle school track meet.
Kyle and his brothers need a strong male influence in their lives. They would do well with a father figure who models being strong, but wise. Competition in physical activities and generosity with each player will teach them that true leaders share power.
Kyle's well being within an adoptive family will hinge on love, follow-through and consistency. Each of these children has experienced deep disappointments and recent losses. They will only give their trust if you earn it.
"Hi, I'm Arilia. Sometimes I like being the youngest because my sister plays dolls with me, but I don't like my brothers picking on me. I would like a family that enjoys doing fun things with their kids, like playing tag. My favorite subject in school is Math. I might like to be a teacher some day."
Arilia is energetic, talkative, bubbly and full of life. She is outgoing and a follower. She is very attached to her sister Ileaha and looks to her for help with tasks that are difficult.
Arilia loves being the youngest and getting everyone's help and attention. As she gets older, she misses those features of her babyhood. Sometimes she pretends to be a baby for a bit of extra attention.
Arilia goes to bed easily and wakes up ready to start the day. She has her big sister help her with her hair in the morning. Safety and assistance are two things that are important to Arilia. She's afraid of the dark and of being left alone. An adoptive family could help her embrace the increasing privileges that come with growth and maturity.
Like her family members, Arilia likes football and sports. She also enjoys playing on the Wii with Ileaha.
Foster mom reports that making and keeping friends can be a challenge for this social butterfly. Arilia brings friends home after school, but it's puzzling and hurtful to her when they don't return to play. She will need a parent's assistance in perceiving and developing the subtle behaviors that attract friends.
Arilia's adoptive parent(s) should be able to provide a very structured environment. With lots of things on her mind, she struggles with remaining in one place for very long. Her family needs to provide gentle guidance about not wandering far from protective adults or siblings.
She and her siblings missed a lot of school in their earlier years. Arilia will need educational allies as she catches up with her age group in school. She's attending summer school and may be repeating 1st grade.
Arilia is very tied to her brothers and sisters. It does seem that as long as she knows they're happy, all is right in her world. It's also crucial that her adoptive parent(s) be invested in keeping her and her siblings together and that they show respect for her biological family. They are an integral part of the children's identity.
Although tribal elders are not insisting that the children be placed with a Navajo-enrolled family, this would be an ideal situation for this amazing sibling group. They could also do well within any family that honors this rich heritage and would create regular opportunities for the children to participate in tribal events and customs.
The children's adoption team will be looking for a family that understands trauma, grief and loss. Parents who can model self-regulation could show the power that comes from choosing reactions to challenging situations. Fortunately, Troy and his siblings have deep reserves, passed down through their ancestors. Help them tap into that resource.
If you think you can provide this wonderful group of kids the home and stability they need and deserve, call the Idaho CareLine today!
Portrait by Barb from Barb Bergeson Studio Gallery
To find out more about Troy, Ileaha, Sereck, Kyle & Arilia, adoption or becoming a foster parent, email the Idaho CareLine (Please include your zip code and city.) or call 1-800-926-2588. You may be asked to provide this reference number: 30563.
|Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544