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Hunter & Foster Family Find Their Way
Nine-year-old Hunter has lived in his Child Saving Institute (CSI) foster home since June 2016. Hunter was diagnosed with high functioning autism at a young age. With this form of autism, he has struggled with social interaction and forming relationships.
Hunter’s foster parents informed their CSI foster care specialist that in the beginning Hunter was very shy and didn’t like to socialize with others in the home. Over the last year-and-a-half, Hunter has become more and more socially active. For instance, Hunter recently joined the choir and started participating in cardio club with classmates. Hunter now holds conversations about things he enjoys like Pokémon and his pet lizard.
Hunter has also built relationships with two foster siblings who joined the family in November. CSI’s foster care specialist has witnessed the relationships he has formed with his foster parents and his foster siblings — being able to laugh, joke and play video games with them. He also learned to communicate how he is feeling and when he needs a break alone in his room.
In October 2017, Hunter’s mother relinquished her parental rights. His father lives out of state and receives updates on Hunter’s progress in the foster home.
On Christmas Day, after the family had opened gifts, Hunter said, out of the blue, “I really thought I was going to become part of the family for Christmas.” His foster parents reassured Hunter that, even though he hadn’t been adopted yet, he was already part of their family.
Hunter still wants to be adopted by the foster family and although the paperwork had not been completed by Christmas, the biological father recognized that the foster family can provide better opportunities for Hunter. He told Hunter’s team that he sees his son excelling and he wants that to continue, so he relinquished his rights, paving the way for the foster family to adopt him.
Hunter’s birth father felt comfortable making this decision because the foster parents have done a fantastic job of building relationships with the biological family. Through this interaction, the biological family has seen Hunter thrive and has grown to love and trust the foster family. This means even after the adoption they will all remain in contact. Hunter will know where he is from and that his parents chose adoption to create a better life for him.