From the moment you see Lorri and 16 year old, Krystal together, you know their relationship is special. There is obvious affection between the two of them. You would never guess they’ve only known each other for about 16 months.
Lorri became a life coach with OCA in August of 2016. She says she expected the role to be more difficult. But she and Krystal hit it off from the very beginning. Some of her favorite times with Krystal have been simple…riding around in the car singing, being silly and having fun.
They have also had more intentional time together. Krystal loves animals. So, Lorri signed them up to volunteer at the Humane Society. They play with the animals, take them out, clean up after them and sometimes, even help customers. It’s been a good learning experience for Krystal. She’s learned first hand that all jobs come with some things that are enjoyable and some that are not. “Poop Patrol”, as they call it, is one of the not so fun aspects of their volunteer job. They giggled for a solid 2 minutes arguing about who likes poop patrol more.
Lorri also made it possible for Krystal to participate in a 5-week therapeutic horseback-riding program. Each session began with a lesson and Bible verse followed with time taking care of and riding the horses. Krystal quoted one of the verses for me, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.”
Looking back on their time together, neither can point to one specific area of growth or any dramatic moment they’ve shared. But in the normal activities of life they have created a strong bond that will last a lifetime. Lorri has seen Krystal grow and mature in the months they’ve known each other. And as they begin to look at the future together they have a strong foundation from which to work. In the coming months they plan to talk more about goals Krystal has for herself and how Lorri can help her achieve them.
On the surface, there isn’t anything spectacular about this relationship. But the fact that it even exists is spectacular. Krystal has spent the majority of her life in residential treatment facilities. In fact, she still lives in a group home with several other teenage girls. This life coach relationship allows Krystal to build trust and healthy attachment with a safe adult without the pressures and expectations that a family would bring. She has grown to love and trust Lorri and knows that she will be there for her. As many of her peers approach their transition to adulthood alone, Krystal will have Lorri to walk alongside her and continue to support and encourage her.
Nationwide, about 24,000 children age out of foster care each year. Would you consider stepping in to insure that one of them will not face this time alone? OCA has almost 50 active life coaching matches. As we enter 2018, we hope to see that number continue to increase. Please consider how you might get involved as a life coach or consider giving financially!
***some names have been changed to protect privacy