When Alton first was placed at Epworth, he was very guarded and withdrawn. This type of behavior is typical for a child whose parents have been struggling to provide for a child for some time. His parents needed some time and space to put their lives together, so Alton came to Epworth.
It took him a little while to adjust, but before long Alton changed. He went from being quiet and reserved to being full of energy and smiles. As he adjusted, he began to thrive in school and took strides in improving his physical and emotional health. While Alton was improving, his parents took a similar path and committed to rebuild their lives while holding employment, creating a safe place to live, and continuing to visit Alton to nurture their relationship.
Last week was a big week for Alton. On Wednesday, he graduated from the 5th grade. When he first arrived in Clinton Cottage (for elementary age boys) in 2014, he was one of the youngest boys living there. Now on graduation day, he was one of the oldest and was moving on to middle school. Both his family and his Epworth staff came to his ceremony to support him. Afterwards, they all went for a celebratory dinner together.
However, the dinner was more than a celebration for his graduation. As they were preparing to leave the restaurant, Alton’s parents told him to get some rest because they were coming back to move him home on Friday! It was the moment Alton had been waiting on for a long time. These years at Epworth saw considerable growth for him (and his parents) and the time was right for them to be reunited.
This summer they will live together as a family once again. We rejoice for Alton and his parents and lift them up in prayer as they begin this new journey together.