Faces of Foster Care: Milo and Allison

A toddler boy in a striped shirt and a panama-style hat smiles at the camera.

By: Courtney Edge-Mattos

He was so small!

Allison’s hands fluttered over of him, not sure where to touch.  He had a tube going through his nose and down the back of his throat, allowing him to eat.  He had a respirator to breathe, which he was weaning off of but still needed most of the time.  He had bandages on his legs where his IVs had been placed. 

The nurses took time and demonstrated how to hold him, how to move him without jostling his medical devices too much, what medication to give and when. 

“No one knows what the future holds for him,” they told her, a note of warning rather than hope.  His eyes were unfocused and she wasn’t sure he registered that she was there, but she nodded her head and began talking to him. 

“Hi, buddy, I’m Allison.  I’m going to help take care of you,” she whispered in his little seashell ear.  “I’m going to change your bandage now,” she advised, as the nurses guided her through the procedure, taking care to attend to his delicate skin. 

Allison recalls being slightly terrified when Milo came home.  She’d visited with him for several days in the children’s hospital, learning to feed him, to clean his tubes, and how to monitor him for symptoms of distress.

As she recounts the early days, nearly three years ago now, a little boy in blue glasses toddles by.  “Mama, see me!”

Her face bursts into a radiant smile.  “I see you, Milo!”

He started walking without assistance two months ago after countless sessions of physical therapy and now the words are coming along, too.  He says “I love you, bye!” to every guest who leaves.  He throws his body into hers for hugs, but knows to use gentle hands when he pats his new foster sister, Starr. 

“They told me he would probably never walk, probably never talk.  He didn’t agree,” she laughs as he lets out a whoop of delight. 

If you can gently support a child who needs to grow at their own pace, who needs a cheerleader and an advocate, reach out today.  There are children like Milo waiting for loving arms to carry them home.


JRI Service Navigator

Do you have a question about JRI services?

Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.