We recently matched a Little who has faced great trauma and it has been a bit difficult engaging him, due to the many roadblocks he has faced! However, the stars aligned, and he is officially matched-- his story is really touching. Read more below!
Antonio has been in multiple different foster homes. He has two younger brothers that he has had to protect and care for and has such great potential, that he has not been able to explore further given his living situations. Antonio endured an abuse case, has never had a stable home and MOST recently, lost his primary caregiver that he has lived with for the past 3 years and was near a final adoption. Due to this, Antonio was placed back in foster care. Luckily, Antonio's foster care worker was very communicative with me and kept me updated on all of Antonio's happenings. We told her that at this time, we could not enroll Antonio knowing that he did not have a permanent address or caregiver at this time. The foster care worker knew how much Antonio would benefit from this and after meeting Antonio, we also knew how bad he needed this. Even though the foster care worker understood the information that was lacking, she did not give up and a couple weeks later, called us again to inform us that Antonio was placed in his Granddad's care, which would help fill in the missing gaps that were needed on our end.
MWe asked the foster care worker if Granddad knew about the program and if he was still interested in keeping Antonio enrolled and she said that he was! She gave us his phone number, in addition to telling us how happy Antonio was. Apparently, Antonio was unhappy at his last home and hoped to live with Granddad. We were so happy that despite what Antonio went through, he was being so resilient, and things were looking up. We called Grand-dad and informed him of the potential Big (Big approved a while ago and was on standby!) and Granddad thought it would be a good fit. When interviewing Antonio months ago, he was very excited about sports and was super talented at basketball. This Big works for the Pistons and has coached basketball in the past. This alone made us feel that they would have a nice time connecting!
The match was done last week, and Dean brought Antonio this hat. Dean told Antonio that he personally got it signed for him and Antonio lit up. This most recent Monday, they attended the game together. Antonio could not be happier, and Dean is so excited about being his Big!