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From Heartache to a New Home

Heartache. Pain. Sadness.

Those are the feelings that darkened the life of 10-year-old Josh when he finally realized his parents didn’t want him.

Josh had been removed from his home for his own safety several times during his childhood. Substance abuse and mental health issues were constant problems with his mom and dad, and Social Services workers were regular visitors to Josh’s house.

It was after the boy’s sixth displacement that he learned he wouldn’t be going back. Foster homes became his refuge. And while the foster parents who took him in were kind and caring, it wasn’t like being part of a real, permanent family.

But there was a glimmer of hope. When Boys Town Iowa’s In-Home Family Services got involved in Josh’s case, a Boys Town Consultant learned that Josh had some distant relatives – Gordon and Sally Dexter – who had provided support and encouragement during his tough times at home and in foster care.

Would the couple consider taking in and possibly adopting Josh as their own son? It may be the only way he could become part of the family he desperately wanted.

A series of visits between Josh and the Dexters was arranged by the Boys Town Consultant. Josh and the couple played games and went on outings together, and Gordon and Sally gradually got to know and grow closer to Josh.

Meanwhile, the Consultant continued to support Josh and make sure his emotional and physical needs were being met in the foster home where he lived. He also taught the youngster social skills that would help prepare him for the transition to a new school and a new home.

Just before Easter, a smiling youngster who once thought no one wanted him stepped through the door of the Dexters’ house and fell into the hugs of Gordon and Sally. In that moment, the heartache, the pain and the sadness of the past were washed away and Josh felt love and a sense of belonging.

Not too long after, Gordon and Sally adopted Josh.

With Boys Town’s help and the commitment of a caring couple, Josh had finally come home.

The stories provided about the children and families in our care are real. In some cases, names may be changed and details altered to protect their privacy and therapeutic interests.