Ariel, 3-years-old, went home to live with mom and her older brother last week. She and her brother had come to us in mid-December, though he was moved to another facility during the summer. Ariel had hardly any words in her vocabulary when she first arrived.

She learned to speak, thanks in large part to the dedication of our house parents. When she left, she could ask for what she wanted in very clear sentences. She spoke to EVERYONE by name and could ask new friends what their names were. She learned to say “delicious” at lunch and dinner.

She learned how to sing “He’s got the whole work in his hands” and would insert names in it – He’s got me and Ms. Laconte in his hands!

She learned how to dress herself, pick out her own clothes and help our 2-year-old little girl, Rhea, do the same.

We will miss Ariel. We'll miss the way she spoke to us and looked at us with understanding beyond her three years, the way she enthusiastically demanded hugs, the way she offered compliments on shoes and earrings and hair. We are sad to see her go. But we always remind ourselves in these situations, when one sweet kiddo leaves, there is another who needs us--one who is waiting for there to be a little more space in  our hands for holding.