The MENTOR Network

Stories of our Mentors

Louise and David Became Family

David&Louise-main

From the first time they met, Louise knew David was special. He was barely 15 years old at the time and had already faced more challenges in his young life than many adults confront in a lifetime. Born with multiple health challenges and developmental disabilities, David was 14 when his mother decided she could no longer care for her son.

Away from the only home and family he had ever known, David was placed into multiple foster homes. Struggling to cope with the changes in his life, David experienced emotional and behavioral challenges, making it difficult for his foster families to support him.

Enter Georgia MENTOR and Louise

When David was placed into Louise’s home through Georgia MENTOR’s Therapeutic Foster Care program, everything changed. Louise was able to see the potential beyond David’s challenges. With guidance from Georgia MENTOR’s expert clinical team, Louise was able to help David thrive. They became more than care provider and foster child to each other—they became family.

Despite David’s progress during his first year with Louise, he still had difficulty managing his emotions because of the trauma he had experienced. David needed to know that his world would not be turned upside down again. He needed a promise and Louise spoke the words David needed to hear:

“David, I want you to know that I love you and you are part of my family,” she said. “I want to be sure you understand that I will never leave you. I am your Mentor, and I will be with you forever. You will always have a home with me.”

David’s All Grown Up

David affectionately calls her “Ma,” and Louise has embraced him as her son. She is grateful to have him in her life as part of her family. When David turned 18, Louise became a certified Host Home provider so that she could continue to offer him a home. Georgia MENTOR’s continuum of services and supports is focused on helping people of all ages and abilities build rich, independent lives. In David’s case, he was able to successfully transition into the host home program—in which adults live in private family homes in the community with nurturing Mentors—from Therapeutic Foster Care and keep Louise as his Mentor.

Now 27, David enjoys playing sports and is active in Louise’s church, where he sings in the choir and helps with maintenance. His health has improved significantly, and he is on fewer medications. Louise beams with pride whenever talking about David and the man he has become.

“David is special,” she said, “and he is special to me.”

“David, I want you to know that I love you and you are part of my family. I want to be sure you understand that I will never leave you. I am your Mentor, and I will be with you forever. You will always have a home with me.”
—Louise, David’s Mentor