Many children spend their lives moving between foster groups, dreaming about the day they will find a forever home. Two adoptive families rejected one boy before his caseworker took matters into her own hands.
Caseworkers in the foster care field devote lots of time and energy to matching children with ideal families. About 75% of kids taken from their biological parents are returned to them, but this is not possible when the homes are unsafe.
Thankfully, many children find love in adoptive families, but sometimes their past can become an issue. Kids who experience conflict at a young age can develop anger issues and struggle to settle in new environments.
One troubled child entered the foster care system in 2003 when he was just three years old, and his story seemed hopeless for a long time—but there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and her name was Connie Going.
HE HAD A PAINFUL PAST
Taylor spent the first few years of his life trying to survive with his two sisters. Their parents were addicts, and the father punished Taylor from a very young age. Slowly, he developed anger issues that would make him seemingly unadoptable for years to come.
Caseworker Connie Going was thrilled when she placed Taylor and his siblings with an adoptive family, and she was delighted to have kept the trio together. But sadly, her happiness didn't last long.
HE WAS SENT BACK
The family kept the sisters, but they sent Taylor back into foster care because his personality clashed with his adoptive dad. Despite the setback, Going continued looking for Taylor's forever home.
She believed she would find an adoptive family for him and said: "Every child is adoptable. There's a family for every child." After some time, Going placed Taylor with another loving family. She was heartbroken when they also sent him back.
"I was just so mad, because I thought that they weren’t going to keep me. I was just trying to test them."
SHE FELT PHYSICAL PAIN
Going, who worked as a social worker for 15 years, handling more than 2,000 adoptions, was devastated on behalf of Taylor. She had known him for more than a decade and felt physical pain thinking about the rejection he faced.
She expressed: "All I could think about was how he was feeling and how he was blaming himself again." Going didn't know it at the time, but down the line, she realized she was partially responsible for Taylor's rejections.
SHE UNDERSTOOD HIM
The 50-year-old caseworker knew Taylor well, and she understood him and his outbursts. Going recalled an incident when Taylor repeatedly threw a chair against the wall. She went inside the room and consoled him.
"He literally leaped across the room and threw himself on me and sobbed. It went on for about an hour."
"WHY DON'T YOU ADOPT ME?"
Taylor and his caseworker had a close-knit bond, and when he was ten, he asked Going a question that caught her off guard. They were driving to a Ruby Tuesday's restaurant when he asked: "Why don't you adopt me?"
Going, who had two kids, and was in the process of getting divorced, gave Taylor a list of excuses. She said there was a better family for him and pushed the question to the back of her mind.
SHE DID EVERYTHING TO FIND HIM A HOME
Going did her best to find Taylor a forever home, and she gave ten years of her life to the effort. She featured photos of him on television segments and had a portrait done with a non-profit organization that showcased kids available for adoption.
Sadly, none of the efforts resulted in adoption inquiries. Going couldn't bear the thought of Taylor being rejected a third time, so she took matters into her own hands and considered adopting Taylor herself.
FROM CASEWORKER TO MOTHER
Going knew it wouldn't be easy, but she saw Taylor for who he was—a boy who wanted to be loved. She shared: "When you feel you're not loveable, and you're up against someone loving you, that's a pretty scary thing."
The caseworker understood why she never found a perfect home or set of parents for Taylor. It was because he always belonged with her.
THE ADOPTION WAS MADE OFFICIAL
In 2013, a court made the adoption official, and Taylor got the family he had always dreamed about. It wasn't perfect, but it was what he needed.
Taylor knew Going as the fun superwoman who took him for dinners, so he adjusted to her as his rule-enforcing mom over time. Despite the challenges, it was evident that the duo was meant to be.
HE FINALLY FOUND HIS FOREVER HOME
Going handed Taylor a special book in the courtroom, it was "The Velveteen Rabbit," and she told him it was about a rabbit who became real after he experienced love.
The connection between them was undeniable, and the adoption was an emotional moment for everyone. After a decade of moving around, the youngster finally found his forever home.
LIFE AFTER THE ADOPTION
Going and Taylor's relationship continued to grow after the adoption, and she managed his anger outbursts as best she could. There were broken mirrors and tense moments, but after a few months, the rage stopped.
Going shared that Taylor once told her he was running away from home, to which she replied: "'I'm not sending you away, Taylor.' And he would look over at me, take his backpack off and head back in."
IT WAS WHERE HE BELONGED
Over time, Taylor realized that his adoptive mother wasn't going to reject him, and she wasn't going to stop loving him either. He expressed: "Yeah, this is where I belong. She knows my worst side, and she still cares about me and still loves me."
Taylor and Going's story was inspiring. Despite the setbacks and rejections, everything worked out for the better. Click here for another beautiful story about a caseworker who adopted a child after he went through 20 foster homes.