Part Two: The Worthwhile Journey
Note: Names and locations have been changed for the safety of the individual.
Last week we began to tell a story of hope and restoration. We're excited to continue to share Jenna's extraordinary journey as told by her friend and MdL staff member.
"In 2017, we hired a new social worker, Pamela, whose focus would be working to strengthen family relationships so that one day our kids would be able to have healthy and safe relationships with their extended family members with the goal of one day being able to live with them again. This can be extremely difficult and slow work, but Pamela continued to follow leads and eventually stumbled across a miracle: Jenna's entire family network.
Jenna's mother died shortly after Jenna was born due to complications with childbirth. Jenna’s other siblings, who were older at the time, believed that Jenna died along with their mother and were not informed about the baby’s condition. Flash-forward 15 years, Jenna’s sister receives a phone call informing her she has a 15-year old sister living in an orphanage in Honduras. Jenna’s sister, who now lives in Spain, is stunned and informs us that Jenna has family members living in Honduras, Europe, and the United States. Jenna’s world immediately grows.
Although we now know Jenna has all of these family members, we know they are also strangers and we need to handle the situation extremely delicately. While in Spain on vacation, Pamela is able to meet Jenna's sister and determines that the two should begin to form a relationship. The sister is eager to meet Jenna and get to know her. Back in Honduras, our staff explains the situation to Jenna and the two start to communicate over the phone and eventually set up weekly FaceTime calls. Jenna is suddenly an aunt to a beautiful young boy, she has a brother in the states, and she has people, outside of MdL, that love and care for her. And she loves and cares for them. In fact, one year later, her sister has begun the adoption process to welcome Jenna into her home.
That missing piece, the motivation, the self-care and respect, is no longer missing in Jenna’s life. The sense of abandonment is gone. Our staff notes a complete change in Jenna’s behavior; she attends school without any problems, she is not acting out in anger, and she is back to her happy self. But the biggest change: Jenna no longer uses a wheelchair. In fact, she says “I don’t want to see that thing anymore”. It has been weeks since Jenna has been in a wheelchair, even when going to doctor’s appointments. She is walking, gaining strength, and doing it all on her own.
Jenna’s story is an answer to prayers and an absolute miracle. We are hopeful that the adoption will be successful and Jenna will be able to live forever with family."
We at Orphan World Relief are overjoyed for Jenna and how far she has come! This is the kind of story we love to hear.
To support and learn about programs like this, visit www.orphanworldrelief.org