Emma’s & Daniel’s Story

Emma and Daniel were raised in a violent home — a drug-infested environment where alcoholism, incarceration, and domestic abuse ran rampant. These dark circumstances led to their placement with Palmer Home for Children.

When Emma arrived on campus, she was diagnosed as failure to thrive due to malnutrition; her brother wasn’t far behind her on the charts. Even now, after years of recuperation, they are both substantially smaller than most children their age.

Despite her bubbly and energetic personality, nine-year-old Emma struggles to process the events from her childhood. Exposed to complex trauma at an early age, Emma associates countless memories, sights, and sounds with violence and abuse. She is a fourth grade girl already haunted by her past.

Daniel, now 12, maintains a good sense of humor and enjoys playing sports with his friends, but like his sister, also struggles to unpack an abundance of grief from his early years.

Emma and Daniel are two of seven children — a combination of full and half-siblings. “These kids really love each other,” said Dr. David Foster, the Senior Advisor at Palmer Home. “And at different times, each one of them has been here.” While the residential care structure works exceedingly well for some children, others thrive in private foster care placements. In fact, a few years ago two of Emma and Daniel’s siblings transitioned into, and are thriving in, a foster care home with a family dedicated to caring for children from complicated backgrounds.

Whenever possible, Palmer Home wants to keep siblings together. Last year, the foster family asked if Emma and Daniel would like to live with them. When the offer was presented to Emma and Daniel, they eagerly accepted. For the first time in years, four of the siblings would be reunited again.

The family has taken in and adopted several children through the years. They have a heart for kids who have come from difficult situations and want to provide a safe, peaceful environment for them to heal and grow. In preparation for Emma and Daniel’s arrival, the family decided to add an additional room onto their home in order to give the two children plenty of living space.

While the foster care system provides a monthly stipend to families caring for children in need, this family isn’t receiving (or asking for) financial assistance.  “Their motivation is pure,” said Foster. “It’s not about financial gain. It’s their ministry to help children who come from hard places.”

Commitments like this continually inspirePalmer Home to connect children in need with organizations equipped and willing to serve.

The emphasis Palmer Home places on keeping sibling groups together is one of the reasons ChildX partners with them. Children inherently crave connection with their siblings. By keeping them in regular contact with one another, children are able to maintain and strengthen those crucial familial relationships. “I believe that God, in his sovereignty, gave Emma and Daniel their siblings,” said Foster. “Those bonds and connections never get lost.”

Emma and Daniel transitioned into the foster care placement earlier this year. Without an entity like Palmer Home, Emma and Daniel may have never been reunited with their brother and sister. But because this partnership exists, they are now living in a safe family environment, relieved to be reconnected with their siblings.

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