“Blake’s new family refused to give up on him”
Blake had a traumatic childhood filled with harmful experiences that no child should have to endure. He was placed in foster care when he was 8 years old. Blake’s past prompted feelings of anger, loss, aggression, confusion, and mistrust of adults. He developed defense mechanisms in order to survive the emotional turmoil; the resulting behavior kept everyone at a safe distance. These contributing factors led Blake to have trouble being in a school setting, causing him to act out and disrupt the class which in turn led to his suspension. The lack of consistency that comes from bouncing around between different foster homes and treatment facilities took a toll on Blake.
It wasn’t until Blake was 12 that his life started to turn around. Placed in another foster home, Blake tested the limits and boundaries of his new family and surroundings, but this time, his caregivers refused to give up on him. In this accepting and nurturing environment, Blake thrived. He had finally found his forever home with a family that loved him and later adopted him.
Currently Blake is excelling academically and making all As in his classes while making plans for college. He plays for his high school’s football team and is an active member of the ROTC program, abiding by all of the rules and flourishing under the regimented structure.
Blake’s story will “hopefully inspire his younger sister and other kids in difficult situations,” said his mom, Julie. “What really makes me proud is his desire to one day pay it forward by working with kids that come from similar backgrounds,” Julie continued. Blake’s courage, strength, endurance, and perseverance despite his turbulent upbringing are what make him a Hero. “He has been able to rise above his past and not use it as a crutch, but as a stepping stone to grow into the wonderful young man that he is today,” said his nominating Child Life specialist.
It is with great pleasure that Kids Wish Network and St. Joseph’s Children’s Home honor Blake as a Hero of the Month.