Troubled siblings find home, happiness after years of abuse

A couple of years ago, siblings Marisa and Jason were lost. Trapped in an abusive home environment, they acted out the sexually explicit behavior they’d been exposed to at home. They were rescued from this harmful and degrading situation, but it was just the first step: resettlement in separate foster homes was necessary to prevent them from repeating their destructive behavior. Placed apart and in unfamiliar surroundings, Marisa (13) and Jason (11) were despondent and frightened, left only with the hope that their lives might get better someday.

Marisa’s foster parents, the Mankowskis, did substantial research to learn how they could best help Marisa work through her pain and confusion and begin the healing process. A loving, trusting relationship developed and, in June 2016, the Mankowskis adopted Marisa. Less than a month later, Jason was also adopted by his foster parents after a lengthy process.

Jason came to the Jamisons two years ago, having been moved from agency to agency. The Jamisons have an abiding commitment to the welfare of children. They’ve fostered 20 kids over the course of 15 years, which has given them an informed perspective on the reliability and effectiveness of organizations that work with youth in crisis. Mr. Jamison said Sunrise has been extraordinarily helpful and played a key role in helping Jason find his forever home. “Sunrise is the best agency we’ve been with, by far,” he said.

Today, the future looks bright for Jason and his new family. The Jamisons celebrated the adoption with a trip to the beach, and they expect Jason will continue to thrive in his adoptive home. A fifth-grader, Jason does well in school (math is his favorite subject), and is helpful at home. “He’s a good kid, he’s smart, and he gets good grades,” Mr. Jamison said, adding that a drawn-out and difficult adoption process has been well worth the wait.

Jake Pelfrey