This is a story about, Josh, a young man that has severe diabetes and had been living in a residential setting for the past 4 years when FOCUS became involved. He would often act out by intentionally doing things that caused insulin spikes and seizures. He had pretty much given up on everything and the only control he did have was his medical condition so he would use this as a way to hurt himself. His siblings were adopted and their adoptive family would periodically do a visit with him or send a card, but this was his only contact with people that weren’t his caseworkers.
FOCUS did an archeological dig and discovered an aunt and uncle along with grandparents in his file that at one time wanted to be a part of his life. It wasn’t easy to get everyone that had or was working with this child open to allowing this contact with his birth family. We were finally able to get permission from the team and his placement facility to start visits with these family members, in hopes this would help us better help Josh. At the same time we were all very nervous how Josh would react to this, however, it made a huge difference in his outlook on life. He started controlling his diabetes better, and stopped manipulating his insulin to cause serious medical issues. These visits went so well, that the grandparents wanted to find a way to get him out of this facility and into their home.
We were able to not only PATH train his grandparents, but also their support system (community, friends, church members) to make sure that Josh had all the supports he needed when he stepped out of residiential and into their home. Josh did finally leave the residential treatment facility he had been living in for the past 4 years and go home to live with his grandparents. After the allotted time in his grandparents home they were able to finalize his adoption so he knew he wouldn’t ever be leaving them. This made all the difference in the world to Josh and his diabetes. He stopped trying to hurt himself with his diabetes and learned to control it because he now had a reason to live and something worth living for.