I went up to Chicagoland this weekend for my wife’s uncle’s surprise 60th birthday party. Mike, my wife’s uncle, is an amazing guy and a former Catholic priest who became a community organizer. He spends his professional life working on the southwest side of Chicago empowering people to save their homes and save their neighborhood.
His wife told a story that night about when their family had a five year old foster child.
He was a boy who had been horribly abused and would not let other adults get physically close to him. He was a good kid though with one major exception. He would periodically suffer through violent outbursts. His violent tendencies prevented him from being adopted and he suffered through the foster care system. His brother had already been adopted.
A loving home was not seemingly enough and the violent outbursts continued. Finally, Mike started a journal. He wrote down entries when his foster son was well-behaved and happy, and when he was ill-behaved and violent. It came apparent that the violence came at times when the boy was hungry. When he was well-fed and nourished, there were no violent impulses.
So they kept him well fed and made sure he never went hungry. The boy’s behavior improved dramatically and the violence basically went away.
The boy who was unadoptable was ultimatley adopted by his brother’s new family and two brothers were reunited.