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Grandparents’ Love Supports Isabella
Isabella still remembers every detail about the day her parents died. She was in fifth grade, sitting at her desk completing a math worksheet, when her teacher pulled her out of class to go to the principal’s office. The stricken look on her teacher’s face as she walked her down the hall is still burned into her brain.
Isabella was brought into a room where her grandparents, the principal, and school social worker were waiting. Her grandfather told her that her parents were killed in a car accident that morning. And after receiving the terrible news, as her grandparents gently led her from the school to take her home, Isabella only knew one thing for sure: she was now an orphan.
The months following her parents’ deaths were full of changes. After the funeral, Isabella moved in with her grandparents. She knew she should feel lucky. Her grandma and grandpa were some of the most loving people she knew. They did everything they could to make sure that she had everything she needed.
But the reality of the situation was that nothing was the same. Her grandparents lived outside of her old school district, so she had to change schools. And when she saw other kids with their parents, Isabella couldn’t help but a feel a pang in her stomach, knowing she would never have that again.
As the years passed, Isabella thought she would start to feel better about the loss of her parents. But instead, she just felt worse. Over time, nothing seemed to matter. She stopped hanging out with her friends, stopped trying very hard at school. She fought with her grandparents, whom she felt didn’t understand her. She could feel parts of herself fading away but was powerless to stop it.
Isabella’s grandparents were regularly called into her school for meetings with her teacher and the principal about her bad grades, refusal to participate in class, and ambivalent attitude about her education. But her grandparents spoke very little English, and Isabella didn’t know how to express all the emotions she was experiencing, anyway.
Finally, Isabella’s grandparents realized that Isabella needed more help than they could provide. They knew about Mercy Home from their local parish, and decided to investigate further. After an informational meeting, they felt our Home could be a way to get Isabella back on track.
When her grandparents asked her if she would be interested in living at Mercy Home, Isabella only shrugged. If anything, she was indifferent. But when her grandmother started to cry, explaining how worried she was and how hard this had been, Isabella realized how bad things had gotten.
She agreed to give Mercy Home a try. But it wasn’t easy. During her therapy sessions, Isabella had no idea what to say at first. She had always been good at not talking. She definitely didn’t want to share anything in group therapy, either.
But over time, Isabella felt more empowered to share her story. There was some relief in letting things out, she realized. And she participated in family therapy with her grandparents. It really helped clear up pain and misunderstandings between them, and her grandparents also received some great advice to help their relationship with Isabella going forward.
Mercy Home also helped Isabella get caught up at school. She worked with a tutor to raise her grades and learn how to study properly, as well as organize her schoolwork. She’s even starting to think about going to college.
When Isabella thinks back to the hopelessness she experienced growing up, she is grateful that Mercy Home helped her find a new path. With the tools and support friends like you have made possible for her, her future is bright.