Many of the moms at Florence Crittenton come from very difficult life situations. As a community we are now recognizing that many of the children who grew up in lives filled with maltreatment, chaos and uncertainty suffer from a kind of trauma. These children are often part of the foster care system, or are otherwise “state-involved.”
Naomi and Cristian’s story shows just how resilient these young can be; and with a bit of guidance, support, and a whole lot of love, they can triumph.
I was surprised when they welcomed me in like family. They showed me one of the bedrooms as an example of where my birth mother may have been living. Eventually, I reconnected with my birth mother and thanked her for having me and for her decision to let my parents raise me.
Naomi was 16 when she became pregnant with her daughter Amiyah. The father of her baby – an exchange student, was back in his home country of Chile. Because of her chaotic childhood, Naomi was scared and untrusting of adults. She had fallen off track with her education and was significantly behind in school. No longer able to stay with her foster family, she came to Crittenton once she became pregnant.
Naomi went through some difficult times during her first months at Florence Crittenton. But with the help of Maria and Direct Care Staff, she chose to parent her beautiful daughter Amiyah. After the birth of her daughter, Naomi began to work with her case manager to determine how she and Cristian, Amiyah’s father could be reunited. Cristian remained diligent in his contact with Naomi and Amiyah. They both say one of the most useful tools for them was Skype (Internet technology that uses a small camera attached to the computer so you can see and hear someone on the other line.) Through this technology, and Maria’s recognition of the importance of this communication, Naomi and Cristian were able to continue working on their relationship and Cristian was able to maintain face-to-face contact with his daughter.
Naomi and Cristian’s story of resilience and commitment to each other, their baby girl, and their young family remind us of the promise and potential each and every young mom at Florence Crittenton has and the very important task we have of supporting them through this journey.