05.27.2016

My Hope is My Hope is Our Hope

By Jeanne’ Cole, Treehouse Caregiver

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I’m happy and grateful to be able to share this triumphant story of hope and courage, community and unity. I truly believe WE do these things together!

A Life Altering Call

Being a relative caregiver is the life I never imagined I wanted. In Feb 2014, I received a call from CPS that would rock the foundation of my world. My granddaughter, Hope, had been removed from her parents’ custody. When I picked her up, she came with the clothes she was wearing and a brand new sippy cup. Literally, all she and I had was Hope. Her social worker arranged an emergency voucher from Treehouse so we were able to purchase some bare essentials. I had no idea we were embarking on a 4-year journey that would culminate in a beautiful union through adoption. Super scary and confusing, we started out and continue to take one step, one day at a time.

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A year prior, after the sudden death of my sister, a beautiful foster mom for many children throughout the years, I had stepped away from my 20+ year career to help my brother-in-law care for the two foster children in their home. Hope would be added to our little circle of broken hearts being loved through tremendous loss and tragedy… including my own. We all were hurting, but we would get through this together.

I was suddenly a practically unemployed 47-year-old single parent of a 22-month-old very active and animated little girl with LOTS of feelings. Life was challenging, to say the least.

We were to face many more heartbreaking challenges, beautiful moments of joy and laughter, interspersed with growth and accomplishments.

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Throughout our journey, Treehouse supported all three kids with “things” that helped them to feel more secure and to fit in. The Treehouse Wearhouse provided an enormous help with clothing. Treehouse Little Wishes provided dance lessons, and later T-ball, which helped Hope channel her emotional journey through these tough times into song and dance. During the holidays, Treehouse helped out with gifts and also hosted a wonderful holiday family event at the downtown Holiday Carousel, which would later become a 3-year tradition to include Hope’s younger brother and sister. We also were able to attend the Fair and a Rainiers game! I would not have been able to afford these super special magical moments on my own. We have been very blessed by Treehouse with heart-healing moments of laughter and fun. Priceless!

A Hopeful Future

Hope and I adopted each other legally in 2015, and have a solid life of partnership. We continue to help other children in our community by allowing our journey to bring a bit of knowledge and unity to children in our neighborhood. We are actively involved with cooking and serving meals to our community, through our local community center. We are dedicated and committed to donating time and repurposed goods to Treehouse. We are truly grateful for the joy this organization has added to our lives!

My life is more amazing today than I ever knew it could possibly be. This little Hope has made me courageous, younger in spirit and heart than I’ve ever been. I am forever grateful to the Treehouse team of beautiful people helping people.

THANK YOU so very much!

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About the Author

Jeanne’ Cole, AKA Hope’s Grinny, is one of many relative caregivers in Washington state. Relative caregivers step in during a time of need to help care for relatives who must be removed from their birthparents and play an important role in helping children maintain connections to their families during difficult times.


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