Immigrant Child’s Search for a Brighter Future
19th of June 2018
This is the story of Albert, a foster youth who found a brighter future by becoming an American citizen.
After years of being separated, Albert’s mother arranged for smugglers to bring him to the United States, but was arrested by immigration officers as he crossed the border. He was detained for nearly a month before being released to his mother and her American husband in Los Angeles.
Albert had difficulty adjusting to his new life. His mother and stepfather had a new baby and Albert felt like he didn’t belong. Language barriers made school challenging, so Albert stopped attending and was soon recruited by a gang. He had only been in the country seven months before he committed a minor crime, which led to his arrest and confinement in juvenile hall. Albert was arraigned and placed into a residential therapeutic program. His mother distanced herself and at 12 years old, Albert felt his life was over.
Because Albert’s mother did not want him back and had no other family, the judge allowed him to stay in his residential program through the Department of Child and Family Services. His support team helped him to acquire the knowledge, skills and tools needed to prepare him to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming an American citizen. When he was ready, team support workers and the volunteer assistance of a paralegal, helped Albert navigate the process, complete the necessary paperwork and even accompanied him to court hearings in an effort to make his dream become a reality.
After becoming a citizen, Albert felt something was still missing from his American dream…
Because approximately 50% of foster youth experience some length of homelessness as adults, and knowing that Albert could not return to his family, his treatment team worked tirelessly to find a resource family to care for him. He met with one potential foster mother, who was retired from the juvenile justice system, and the two immediately connected. Because of her previous occupation, her experience fostering other children and being the child of immigrants herself, she understood the challenges Albert had to endure. Following their meeting, Albert couldn’t stop talking about her; how nice she was; how much they had in common and how he couldn’t believe she had carpeting all throughout her home!
Albert was placed with his new resource family and is excelling in high school and making friends. He discovered a love of football, joined the team and won a certificate for “Best Freshmen Defensive Player.” Even though Albert spoke very little English when he came to America, English is now his favorite subject. After high school, he plans to attend college and eventually play pro football.
Only two years after feeling his life was over, Albert is facing a bright future. People around him describe him as a “pleasant” and “focused” young man who always has a smile on his face and loves to make people laugh. Albert is constantly expressing his gratitude for his “new mom,” and the support of the people who helped him make a life in America. Although his life in the United States is very different than the one he had dreamed of for so long, he still believes dreams do come true – with hard work, opportunity and the support of caring individuals.
If you have room in your heart and your home to care for a child like Albert, please contact Trinity Youth Services at (888) 346-9645 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to become a foster or adoptive parent. Or donate to the Children’s Foundation of America to support children like Albert in creating a better future.
The Children’s Foundation of America provides school supplies, new shoes, sports equipment, clothing, college scholarships, housing expenses and more for abused, neglected and abandoned children.
Please support our mission by becoming a monthly donor. Just a few dollars a month helps bring a sense of normalcy to a trauma-affected child. Please, Donate Now.
Names and details have been omitted or altered to protect the identity of the child.