Diana’s Story

Adoption specialists speak of two traumas faced by most children in foster care, the first trauma of losing a parent(s) and the second of losing a sibling. Diana suffered both of these traumas at the age of eight. Today she is 17 and resides at PCHAS’s Transitional Living home in Columbia. She gives us a glimpse now of her past and present, and her plans for the future.

Nine years ago, Diana’s mother gave birth to a boy with medical problems, and the hospital discovered she was using marijuana. The single mother lost custody of both children because she was convicted and incarcerated. The baby was adopted and Diana was placed with a foster family. Diana has tried to stay in touch with her brother, but his adoptive parents discourage any contact, so she hasn’t seen him in four years.

Diana has lived in three cities. Over four years, she changed schools five times. Staff members in the Transitional Living program understand that frequent moves and the trauma of family separation have affected Diana’s ability to trust people. They listen when she feels depressed or angry, and say she is gradually building healthy relationships.

The stability of the PCHAS program is essential to Diana’s future success. It has provided her with enough supervision and emotional support to study at one high school for her junior year. About 40% of children in the foster care system do not graduate from high school, but Diana expects to continue at this school and graduate in 2018. For now, she is glad to have PCHAS as her home.

Read the full story here.