Finding a Home For Sam


Sam* came to Sunrise’s Spring Meadows Center last June. As he walked through the doors the staff noticed how young and small he was. But this small young man quickly made a big impression. The staff was very impressed with Sam’s kindness and how he was always ready to help his peers and the staff when needed.

But Sam was struggling with family trauma. His biological father’s rights were terminated due to long-term abuse that was inflicted on Sam, his sisters, and his mother. Sam’s biological mother was unresponsive to his phone calls, and Sam was not allowed contact with his sisters who were in a foster home.

In spite of these setbacks, Sam was determined to work incredibly hard. Amanda Bradford, Sunrise’s Residential Therapist at Spring Meadows Center, worked closely with Sam and shared that from June to November, Sam was increasing his social skills, improving his grades, learning effective anger management skills, overcoming his depression, and stabilizing his trauma.

But then another major setback occurred. Sam was told that his mother was voluntarily terminating her parental rights of Sam and his sisters. And in January of this year, his mother’s rights were officially terminated. Sam was heartbroken.

In February, Amanda and a Spring Meadows Center Direct Care Counselor took Sam to have a goodbye visit with his mother and sisters. “Needless to say, it was heart-wrenching,” said Amanda. “Sam was so devastated yet so brave.”

Unfortunately, after Sam’s visit in February, Amanda saw a regression in Sam. He began resorting back to aggression and defiance. But Amanda and other Sunrise staff refused to give up on Sam. This commitment and persistence on the team’s part would make a difference. “Slowly but steadily, he continued engaging in treatment and worked his way back to the healthier version of himself that he worked so hard to become,” stated Amanda. “He has earned his final phase in our program and is now awaiting a home that is willing to become his forever family.”

The ending of Sam’s success story is yet to be written. But Sunrise is committed to doing everything possible so that Sam’s story has a happy ending. Amanda shares why she wants this for him: “Sam easily steals your heart with his bright spirit and resilient personality. He is a kiddo that has experienced so much trauma and is deserving of stability and happiness.” She went on to add that because of Sam’s hard work at Sunrise’s Spring Meadows Center, he has gained skills necessary to be matched with a family that can give him the love he so desperately longs for and deserves. She remains hopeful that the right family is out there somewhere for Sam. Could it be yours?

Will you pray for Sam? Will you consider giving to Sunrise so that Sam and others will discover a bright future? Are you willing to open up your heart and home to the many “Sams” out there longing to be held and loved? Your prayers and your support are what Sunrise kids need the most, and what can help make finding a home for Sam and others possible.

*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the individual.

Written by David Lyninger, Sunrise Children’s Services Associate Director of Communications

Kait Flora