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/.
Profile and Portrait provided by NWAE.
"Every time I see Briana she warms my heart. I am so fond of her! She is a fun, loving little girl with a brightness about her. She has such a good spirit, and is so eager to engage with others. She has also made such amazing gains. I am certain there is a wonderful family out there for Briana where she will flourish." - Briana's caseworker
A playful, vibrant girl, Briana has a sweet smile and a generally cheerful, energetic nature. She loves being the focus of attention, so one-on-one time with favorite adults is very special to her. She also likes to be right in the midst of whatever is going on. Some of her favorite pastimes are playing with her Barbies, watching movies, especially in a theater, and jumping and romping on the trampoline.
Briana has faced many challenges from early in her life. In mid 2009, she came into foster care for permanency planning. In the fall of 2009, Briana was placed in her current foster family which was equipped to meet her special needs. In 10/2011, Briana was welcomed into a skilled foster home who is specifically ready to help prepare and support Briana for her adoption transition. She is doing wonderfully in this nurturing and supportive placement!
In addition to her early environment, Briana's special needs also include intellectual disabilities and struggles with anxiety. She attends weekly therapy and has a skills trainer that assists her foster parents in addressing her challenging behaviors which include a chronic anxiety-based urge to pull out her own hair. Briana has a short attention span. She also has difficulty internalizing and generalizing information given to her. This means she needs a lot of repetition and patience from adults in her life. She also needs a very high level of supervision.
Briana is also benefiting from participating in weekly therapy; her skills trainer is also assisting her foster parents in learning behavioral tools and strategies to meet her behavioral needs, which can be challenging.
Briana is doing exceptionally well in school in a special needs classroom. Academically, Briana retained many of the skills she learned last school year and had little regression over the summer. Now in third grade, she is reading at a second grade level and participates regularly in classroom activities. Her teacher reports that Briana continues to move forward and make progress. In addition, she is well liked by school staff and was recently given recognition through by being awarded a "Caring" certificate at school.
Although Briana does not have any siblings and has had very limited contact with birth family thus far, her caseworker wants to choose an adoptive family who will be open to contact with safe, healthy relatives from her family of origin.
Briana needs parent(s) who will accept and love her just the way she is. The right family will be able to provide structure and constructive activities where she can expend her energy and increase her life skills and self esteem. It will be important for Briana's adoptive folks to have a good understanding of the daily needs of children with cognitive difficulties. It will also be important for them to have a good grasp of how early neglect, abuse, and abandonment can impact a child's sense of well being, safety, and overall development. Because of the past trauma she has weathered, Briana will need on-going mental health support for the foreseeable future. Her adoptive parent(s) will need to be open to working with mental health service providers and teachers and others from special education services. Briana is eligible for Adoption Assistance.
Because Briana is not yet legally free, interested, prospective adoptive folks should be licensed as foster parents in addition to having an approved adoption homestudy.
Photos by Emily Garrick-Steenson for the Oregon Heart Gallery.
To find out more about adoption or becoming a foster parent, email the Idaho CareLine or call 1-800-926-2588. Briana is available for adoption through the State of Oregon.
|Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544