Winn had just broken his femur, and because he was confined to a wheelchair while he recovered and needed extra care, he was given a 7-day notice from his first foster home. As soon as he arrived at the Receiving Center, his Placement Services and Crisis Stabilization Response Team (PSCSRT) gave him a fluffy, brown teddy bear to cheer him up. The connection between the two was instant, and that’s where the story of Winn and HoneyBear begins…
After spending one night in the Receiving Center, Winn and HoneyBear were placed with a wonderful foster family. Winn would often have trauma-based behaviors when he was sad, lonely or scared, such as crying, difficulty sleeping and negative attention seeking. Poor Winn didn’t have the language to express how he was feeling, or understand everything that was happening to him. Winn also had difficulties transitioning from daytime to bedtime, but with time, Winn learned how to slowly end his day and begin his nighttime routine of taking a warm bath, putting on pajamas, brushing his teeth and listening to a bedtime story – mostly about pirates, his favorite!
After four months, Winn and HoneyBear had to say goodbye to their foster family and move into their Professional Parent home through Uplift Family Services. Winn did have trouble sleeping the first few days in his new home, but with the help of his PSCSRT and his amazing Professional Parent, he was able to learn to sleep in a new room (with HoneyBear by his side the entire time, of course).
Then, one magical day, Winn and HoneyBear were told that Winn had an aunt and uncle in Texas who wanted them to come live in their home. By the time Winn went to visit them, they already had his room all ready, with a new bed, toys, and clothes to help him adjust to Texas’ summer weather! Winn had a wonderful weekend with his Auntie A and Uncle J; they met new family members, went to SeaWorld, and ate all sorts of delicious food.
A few short weeks later, Winn was given permission and blessings from his judge, lawyers and social worker to officially move to Texas with his family. Throughout Winn and HoneyBear’s journey together, they learned many things, but most importantly, Winn learned about love, acceptance, patience, consistency, and that many families may look different, but all families are important.