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|Last Profile Update:||08/12/13|
Kaylee is a lively teenage girl with tons of potential. A bright young lady with an observant, perceptive mind, she has excellent language skills and loves engaging in meaningful conversation with adults. Kaylee says that it is very important to her that adults speak to her directly and honestly. Outgoing, opinionated, determined, and not at all afraid to stand up for what she believes in, Kaylee has the makings of a future leader. In fact, she has expressed interest in participating in student leadership at her middle school. An eager learner who functions at or above grade level in all subject areas, Kaylee enjoys helping classmate with assignments. Her teachers are fond of her. Kaylee can be a kind and loving girl with adults and with other kids, especially those who are a bit older or much younger than she is. She is especially fond of infants and toddlers and is skilled at enthusiastically engaging with young children at exactly their developmental level. While she spends most of her time at school and doing homework, Kaylee enjoys shopping, bowling, and roller skating in her free time.
Kaylee, who came into foster care most recently in 2009, is in critical need of a loving, experienced adoptive family. Because Kaylee is not yet legally free, interested families need to be licensed for foster care and have an approved adoption homestudy completed.
The emotional and behavioral challenges that confront Kaylee today are related to her chaotic and traumatic early environment. The primary coping mechanism that helped Kaylee survive while in her birth family was to take control of her circumstances however she was able. Even though she now is in a supportive, nurturing foster home and positive school environment, her difficulty deferring to and accepting adult authority remain. Her on-going difficulty trusting adults to be there for her interfere with her willingness and ability to let down her guard. Emotionally, Kaylee tends to keep adults at an arms’ length. She struggles, too, with feeling empathy and does not yet readily grasp how her choices, actions, and words may impact others. While clearly bright enough to understand consequences of her behavior, her impulsiveness hinders her and she often acts before stopping to weigh those consequences. Kaylee requires a great deal of structure, consistency, and accountability at home and at school. Even with those supports, she has periods of time where she struggles to maintain safe, kind, socially appropriate behavior. For additional support, Kaylee meets weekly with a therapist outside of school to help her process her feelings and find ways to help her better regulate those emotions.
Her teachers are aware of Kaylee’s behavioral struggles and are very supportive of helping her to be successful behaviorally and socially in the classroom. There is currently a plan in place for Kaylee, which seems to be effective, for her to seek support from her teachers when she is feeling emotionally overwhelmed.
While Kaylee has not yet had sufficient time nor the emotional security to develop and demonstrate her best characteristics, the positive, amiable attributes she does show indicate that she is full of potential. Kaylee’s adoptive family will need to have some degree of experience parenting children with challenging behaviors. They will need to be compassionate and creative in their parenting strategies and will need to have very realistic expectations for how long it will likely take to earn her trust and affection.
Ideally, Kaylee’s adoptive home would have a stay-at-home parent who could be available to her at all times outside of school given that she has not been very successful in after-school child-care programs. She enjoys being with other children, but peer relationships are difficult for her to navigate; therefore, a family with children either quite a bit older or quite a bit younger than Kaylee may be the best fit.
Because Kaylee will benefit from having ongoing therapeutic support for the foreseeable future, at least on an as-needed basis, her adoptive family needs to be proactive and vigilant in working collaboratively with therapists, teachers and other service providers. Willingness to participate with her in counseling during her transition into her adoptive home would be a meaningful way for her adoptive folks to show their love.
Kaylee’s adoptive family needs to have an unshakable commitment to her and a strong support network of family, friends, and community resource that support that commitment, knowing that a disrupted adoption for a child with Kaylee’s history would most certainly be devastating for her ability to attach to or trust any future caregiver.
For an individual such as Kaylee who has suffered significant loss, being able to continue to have contact with her younger brother through childhood and adolescence will be emotionally and psychologically beneficial for her. It is also in Kaylee’s best interest to have some degree of ongoing contact with her birth mother, and the family chosen to adopt her will need to be open to participating in a mediated agreement for contact.
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