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/.
Those who know Andre describe him as smart and someone who enjoys opportunities to be a helper or a volunteer. He always wants to be busy. Andre is spiritual and loves participating in a Christian church. His social worker describes him as gentle, sensitive and a nature lover.
"I'm Andre and I love going out in nature, to smell the breeze and enjoy what God gave me. I like to fish. I have my own tackle box and rod and reel. I also like to be outdoors doing just about anything--swimming, riding bikes, playing with the dogs, paint balling, cleaning the horse pens and riding them, too. I'd like to have a family that enjoys riding dirt bikes or 4-wheelers. I hope they enjoy camping and fishing and hunting. My grandfather and my uncle and brother hunted, but I was too little at the time. But now I'm old enough. I could take hunter safety and I want to do everything--bear, elk...anything my family enjoys.
You should know that I love to eat. I am learning to cook at school and I really like it. I love to go to Subway and get my favorite sandwich. I liked Wendy's, too. I like to mix chocolate and vanilla in one Frostie and dip my French fries in it. Yum!
I would really like to go to Disney World and to Lagoon--fun stuff that I've never done.
I would like to stay in touch with the people who are important in my life. I want a family that might be able to help me get connected to my dad. I'd like to stay in touch with my mom and my brother and sister. Even though I can't live with them, I would like to be able to write letters or call sometimes. I also want to stay in touch with my foster family and with my grandma and grandpa. There are lots of people who I'd like to stay connected to and they all live in Idaho."
Andre may appear shy at first, and he may playfully hide when you're not looking. But you will quickly earn his trust with positive reinforcement and sincere praise. Andre's caseworkers and foster family speak highly of him when it comes to making progress in regulating himself when he's feeling frustrated or trying to interact well with siblings. It hasn't always been easy for him. Having a family that takes a positive approach has helped tremendously. They help Andre realize that he can be a gentle big brother, he can be a role model for younger siblings and he can find the calmness he needs by taking a walk and appreciating nature.
Andre's social work team has noticed that frustrations decrease when people notice all the great things he does well, like opening doors for others, helping around the house, showing a younger sibling how to do something, sharing, and staying calm when someone is trying his patience. The list is growing, and each kind act finds its way onto a slip of paper and is dropped into a clear glass jar. Andre used to get a lot of negative attention. He is discovering that positive is infinitely preferable. That has made all the difference in his self-confidence.
His social worker is looking for a family that will get involved in interactive therapy and help him believe he can be a valuable and well-loved member of the family. That can only happen when you count the things he's doing right rather than focusing on negative behaviors. Previous experience with adolescents, especially children who struggle with big emotions, will be a big plus. Legal Guardianship is a strong possibility for a placement, so a family may need to be willing to look at that option for Andre's permanency.
Are you able to access community and professional services when they are needed? Is your routine steady and reliable and do you teach with natural consequences--especially the positive ones? If so, you may be the family that will be lucky enough to get to know this playful, sensitive, gentle boy. Andre is hoping you love to cook...because he loves to eat!
Portrait by Barb from Barb Bergeson Studio Gallery
To find out more about Andre, 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: 30535.
|Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544