Manuel watches out for his little brother Tomas. It’s up to Manuel to pack what they need to go back and forth between their parents every few days. The “exchanges” are scary. He tells his little brother not to cry when their parents scream at each other and he gives him a hug when mom or dad drive crazy with them in the car.
When the “exchange” is over, Manuel tucks Tomas in for the night on the living room sofa at their grandparents’ house, where their dad is staying for a while. He turns on the TV because it helps Tomas fall asleep. Manuel doesn’t know if anyone will take them to school in the morning, and if they will have a lunch. Sometimes Manuel feels like he hates his mom and dad and that makes him sad too.
Both of Manuel’s parents were in the throes of serious drug addiction and his grandparents were exhausted from repeated rehab failures. Manuel and his brother were at risk of going into foster care.
You sent Manuel an advocate at just the right time. With increased monitoring and services, Manuel’s dad was able to get clean, get a stable job and move into a small apartment. Now that Manuel is going to school every day, he is catching up and making friends. Manuel loves sharing a real bedroom where he and his little brother have their own beds. Now when Manuel falls asleep, he wonders what he and his friends will play at recess.
*names, images & details about the children featured on our website are varied to protect their privacy