Landon came to Cunningham’s Residential Program with a lot of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and fearfulness. And Landon needed to work out his abuse history while at Cunningham. He had some tough times, but he felt more loved than he had ever felt before and was able to make and maintain relationships for the first time.
When he was ready to “step down” from a residential program, Landon was matched with Penny, a foster parent in Cunningham’s Foster Care program. They formed a great bond between them from the start. The relationship between Landon and Penny was one of the “most remarkable matches of all time.” Landon immediately began calling Penny’s mother, “Grandma” because that’s what the other kids around him- Penny’s biological grandkids- called her.
Landon’s beginning in foster care was quite rambunctious. Because of his ADHD, he was very hyperactive and had poor impulse and body control. The trauma he experienced manifested itself in aggressive and destructive behaviors. When he would act out or destroy property, he always had remorse and felt bad for hurting Penny. Penny refused to give up on Landon.
At one point, Penny thought she may have to move from her home to a neighboring town. Whereas this might cause problems with some youth in foster care, to Landon, this was a signifier that he was welcomed as part of her family. No matter what house they lived in, Landon knew he was home. If Penny was moving, Landon was moving too.
Through our Foster Care program, last year, Cunningham provided a loving and welcoming home to more than 60 youth in nee. In honor of National Foster Care Month, Cunningham Children’s Home would like to recognize our 34 Foster Families along with hundreds of others across the state who help children and youth in find permanent homes and connections.