Heather Found Happiness
by Jeana Pillio Walter
Heather had an epiphany when she was about seven years old. "I had never really experienced or knew what other people around me called happy. I knew there was something missing...but in my childhood I never learned that there were better ways of living than what I was doing. I was missing some big and beautiful things in life."
At a young age, Heather was removed from her family home. She bounced from one placement to the next as she searched to find "something missing."
Heather became unhappy with her life. She tried to numb her pain with drugs, alcohol and overeating, self mutilation—and attempted suicide several times. At age 14, Heather was diagnosed with chronic depression. She had been in and out of foster care homes, hospitals and residential facilities throughout her childhood. At age 17, she arrived at the Methodist Children's Home.
Heather did extremely well in the Methodist Home's 5-phase program. She graduated in only five months. This year staff voted her as Female Resident of the Year. She received her award on Annual Day in September.
Before leaving the Methodist Children's Home, Heather wrote in a letter. "Despite the number of tears that were pouring from feeling depressed, Ms. Kaiiah was always the first staff to run to me and scoop me up with a hug. And Chaplain Pearl always prayed with me whenever I asked. She called me her 'precious' and reminded me that I was always precious to my heavenly father, no matter what."
Heather has just turned 18. She is currently in an independent living program. She has only two credits left to finish her High School diploma and then she plans to go to college. We are proud of Heather and the example she has set for other residents.