By: Patricia Majerczyk, Case Worker
Byron, 6, came to live at Lee & Beulah Moor Children’s Home after the disintegration of his family following his father’s death. Byron’s mother was devastated by the loss of her husband and turned to drugs to deal with her pain.
Her world became engulfed in a web of instability, which Byron was dragged into without choice. She forgot about her son’s existence. All of her waking hours were consumed with her addiction. She forgot all about protecting, loving, and keeping Byron safe. All she could focus on was her next fix so she could make everything and everyone go away, even if it was only for a few hours. But the hours turned into days, the days into weeks, and the weeks into months.
Byron’s mother fell behind on the rent, so the apartment manager went by to check on what was happening. The manager was shocked by the unsanitary conditions Byron and his mother were living in. There was spoiled food on the table, crawling with maggots and trash covered the floors of every room. Cockroaches crawled all over the walls, floors, and furniture. When the manager tried to communicate with the mother, she was incoherent and appeared to be high on drugs. Byron was filthy, with long matted hair. He showed signs of malnutrition. The manager reported what he saw to the state. They responded quickly, arranging for Byron to stay with his uncle, who he was close to and really loved.
Representatives from the state went beyond the call of duty to help Byron’s mother to recover from this ordeal. Their goal was to help her create a safe living environment so Byron could be reunited with her. Byron’s uncle was unable to take care of him for a long period of time because he was disabled and was dealing with health complications. Eventually, Byron ended up being separated from his mother because she failed to complete any of the programs designed to get her back to a healthy state of mind.
Byron was six years old when he was placed at Lee & Beulah Moor Children’s Home. He was a remarkable, loving, and resilient child. He brought out the best in every person he came in contact with. He was loved by his cottage parents, peers, and staff. He was in placement for six wonderful months. He was surrounded by love, nurturing care, and protection and was able to reclaim his own ability to love and trust and trust others.
Byron is smart, eager to learn, hard working, and performs very well in school. Although he’s very young, he is able to understand and accept that he would be better off living with his aunt. She is a successful working woman who is married with no children. Therapy has helped Byron to understand that his mother is not able to take care of him. His aunt and uncle wanted him very much and would take good care of him.
Six months later Byron’s court papers were finalized and he was set to move to the East Coast to live with his aunt. The goodbyes were tearful for his cottage parents, who had grown to love this sweet little boy. I, too, felt deep emotions when I transported him to the airport. We arrived at the airport where the state caseworker was waiting for him to take him to his new home. I tried to fight back the tears, as I hugged and kissed him goodbye. He was so happy, talkative, and smiling throughout our time together that day. I knew this was the best thing for Byron.
I still get occasional updates and I’m so happy to report that Byron has transitioned beautifully to his new family. He’s happy, healthy, and is doing very well in school.