A 24-year-old woman is making headlines as she proves to the world that you’re never too young (or old) to change lives. She went above and beyond the caretaker role as a teacher when she noticed one of her students suffering.
The young boy, not even yet 8 years-old, had lived in over 10 foster cares and was on the lookout for the next one that would take him. So his teacher decided that she couldn’t just abandon him to fend for himself. However, her journey was met with its own obstacles….
Meet William, A Boy Who Suffered From PTSD
Meet William, a boy who has known that life can be cruel from a tender age. At just four years old, he had experienced enough trauma to be diagnosed with PTSD. He was living from one foster home to another, never getting too comfortable because he never could call them home.
At school, he needed extra guidance and worked one-on-one with a behavioral specialist named Paige who could see his evident struggle. She spent three hours a day focusing on him and noted that “he was very isolated because he didn’t know coping skills” she toldGood Morning America. “Since I was one-on-one with him, a lot of our time was spent working on coping skills, behavioral skills, talking about how we behave in school, those types of things.”
Paige Quickly Felt Connected With William
At the time Paige Bramlett worked with William as his behavioral specialist, he was still just a kindergarten student with so much life yet to live even though he had experienced more than any boy his age ever should.
Paige learned of the many homes William had had to live in, in just four years. Paige told their story on TikTok, where it has been gaining viral attention for its heartwarming progression. The more Paige got to know William, the more she felt a calling to help him get through, but she had no idea how much of an impact she would be making on his life.
One Day William Stopped Coming
Paige explained that both her and William’s journeys completely changed when he stopped coming to school one day: “one day, he didn’t show up to school, and he had never missed a day. I ran into his caseworker collecting his things in the hallway. She told me they were looking for a forever home for him to be placed in.”
So Paige, without hesitating, proceeded to introduce herself to the caseworker then asked what she would have to be the forever home William has been searching for.
Paige’s Choice Wasn’t Supported By Her Family
Paige was only in her early twenties when she made the decision to adopt her student. Her friends and family warned her and told her that was too young. They advised her that no one would want to date her and that she should wait until she was married. They thought she was being insane.
Yet, Paige embraced the criticism and followed her calling. She knew that the good would balance out any risks and that at least she and the boy would always have each other.
Breaking The Trauma Cycle
Paige’s strong stance came from her understanding of how badly William needed a safe home and how crucial it was for someone to step up. It was easy for everyone to justify why they couldn’t do it, but it all takes to save him is for someone to at least try. Plus Paige didn’t rush the process. She fostered him for a whole year before making it official. The day she finally adopted him she shared. “Now, he is adopted, loved, and chosen. My son. We are learning together every day.”
What Paige understood, especially thanks to her line of work, was the detrimental effect of trauma on a child’s brain and the lifelong process of healing that they would require. She understood how the system worked and that it wasn’t always in favor of the child.
Advocating for all children in the foster system she explains: “They don’t see the prolonging of cases that stay open for years — ignoring the voices of children. They don’t see the 100’s messages and phone calls that are IGNORED by caseworkers/people who are in charge of the wellbeing of CHILDREN. They don’t see the hurt, they don’t hear the cries and screams. They don’t.”
Yet Adoption Wasn’t Easy
Paige also understands that no everyone can foster children and that it takes a lot of effort to actually make it work. In one of her videos she explains: “foster care is so hard…but worth it.” She describes many of the happy memories she and William can cherish together from skiing to dancing, which make the reward so worth the work.
Paige also had to adapt to being a mom to a 7-year-old while being so young herself. “It’s sometimes hard for me to say out loud, like, oh my gosh, I’m a mom. But I’m so thankful for what I’ve been given and for how I’ve become a mom. You don’t expect it to happen so early, but I know it’s how I was chosen to be a mom.”
William Took Time To Feel Safe Again
It wasn’t easy for William to forget all his trauma ad just move on. It took time for him to believe that he was actually finally safe and that he wouldn’t be made to leave again to another home. Because he had been hurt many times, he was always scared that he would lose everything in a second. To manage his anxiety Paige explains: “when I would say goodbye, I would tell him that I would see him tomorrow. He struggled with sleeping and nightmares, so I would tell him sweet dreams, and we worked on skills that would go beyond the classroom.”
“It was hard to get his head wrapped around feeling secure, that he won’t have more changes.” This is why William needed a permanent home, so he could finally start healing and actually being a kid again.
Their Community Supports Them
Paige and William have enjoyed creating new memories and traditions that they could carry on in their newfound family.”We are enjoying creating our own traditions in our own little home this year,” To show their support, their community even surprised them with a $10,000 Christmas gift .
Everyone can help these children, even if they can’t foster or adopt themselves. Paige takes the time to share with her community all the ways they can make a difference such as donating, getting involved, babysitting, advocating, preparing meals, and educating themselves on childhood trauma.
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Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives