Meet a Treehouse Family: The Bresnahans

By Lisa Bresnahan

Our family’s journey has been one that we never could have even imagined when our blended family first came together in 1997. Shortly after my husband and I were married and we joined our families of 4 pre-teen children, we realized that we both had always had a dream of adopting. We started our adoption journey in India with our son Riley.  Three years later, we adopted his older brother Ramzani from the same region of India.  With 6 children, and very busy lives, our family was now complete, right? Wrong!

As our older children left home and Riley and Ram were in middle school, we felt a strong calling to bring one more child into our home through foster care. This one child turned into two, and within a month, we added two preteens to our family, Howard and Jaielyn, in 2012. This is where our amazing, inspiring adventure with Treehouse began.


With four kids in the house–all in middle school–we realized that our funds and resources were maximized. So, we were thrilled  to learn about the support we could receive from Treehouse’s Little Wishes program. Jaielyn had a gift and passion for singing and dancing, and began taking lessons paid for by Treehouse right away. Howard had always wanted to play the trumpet, and spent his middle school years in band with the trumpet provided by Treehouse. He switched to guitar in high school with a donated guitar and lessons provided for him. They both participated in summer camps through Little Wishes, which were a huge help in building skills and experiences, and most of all a greater belief in themselves and their abilities!

Academically, Treehouse’s Graduation Success program has been a huge support to Howard and Jaielyn, and definitely to us as parents. Danielle, Howard and Jaielyn’s Education Specialist, has been like a member of the family. She has guided and mentored them to each find their unique talents and to pursue their educational aspirations and goals. She has not only worked with them individually on a weekly basis, but has shown up for IEP meetings at school, talked with teachers and counselors on their behalf, and helped them find internships and opportunities to inspire them to keep moving forward towards education beyond high school.  I cannot say enough about how her help and this program has impacted all of our lives.

I am a true Treehouse believer and supporter. Treehouse gives kids the opportunity to pursue their dreams and become productive members of our community. And that’s been true for my kids in a multitude of ways. We will be forever grateful for the dedicated Treehouse team–they truly are a trusted and valued extension of our own family!

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About the Author

Lisa Bresnahan lives in Sammamish, WA with her husband and 4 adopted teens, and 4 older children and grandchildren all living close by. She works for an international company providing leadership and development training to individuals and organizations, and in her spare time attempts to not embarrass her teenagers in public and trying to find activities that they still want to do with her.

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