Tuesday, July 31, 2012

JACOB'S FUND: Meet Brandon

Brandon and one of the many horses he cares for at McKenna Farms
Brandon, 17, found his forever family just two years ago. The family had started fostering children and were asked to take Brandon, then 15, for a single weekend. This polite and gentle boy impressed the family, including the couple’s two biological sons, who later signed up to be Brandon’s Secret Santa. The thank-you note they received was gracious, but ended with Brandon’s heart-breaking wish: “what I really want is a family.” 

Within a few weeks, Brandon became eligible for adoption and the family's youngest son said, “Well, let’s go get him.” The family proceeded with the adoption to make what they already felt legal and binding: Brandon would become their third son.

Early in life, Brandon had been diagnosed with speech problems. In his early years, he received help with speech at school. Although the aid faded away, Brandon’s needs didn’t.

Once adopted, his parents began pursuing help for the newest addition to their family. Thankfully, the Paulding County Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) suggested they contact McKenna Farms. Not long after in the summer of 2011, Brandon began speech therapy, working in one of the therapy rooms in the Civil-War era farmhouse.

Early in the summer of 2012, farm management asked Brandon if he’d like to volunteer on the farm. Working in the barn with the horses was a pivotal turning point for this young man. Now his speech therapist comes to the barn for therapy sessions where Brandon is happiest and does his best. He has been so successful as a volunteer that other children ask for him to be the helper during their therapy sessions.

Brandon is proud of his progress as well as his volunteerism and rightfully so. He has learned that he can contribute something valuable to the farm and other patients. He helps others without asking for anything in return and relishes in his new-found confidence.

With your help, Brandon will begin therapeutic riding sessions immediately. Brandon is glad to help others at the farm. Now Jacob’s Fund can let him know that others want to help him, too.

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