Though perhaps not all of us have been as fortunate to have someone as remarkable as Paige Bramlett, we have all had professors who have had a significant influence on our lives.
The former elementary school behavior specialist volunteered to give one of her youngest students a house when she discovered that he needed stability and a long-term residence.
After almost two years, Bramlett formally adopted the child.
William, age 5, and Bramlett first interacted in August 2019. Early 20-year-old Bramlett had just begun working as a behavioral consultant at the Indiana elementary school she had once attended.
Her responsibility was to be with William for three hours each day.
She said on Good Morning America that ‘he was quite alone because he didn’t know coping skills, and he really battled.’
Since I was working one-on-one with him, we spent a lot of time discussing how we act in school and working on coping strategies and behavioral skills.
Bramlett tried her best to concentrate on skills that ‘would transcend beyond the classroom’ because William, who was in foster care, struggled with a lot.
When William failed to show up for class one day, Bramlett was concerned. The kid brought his caseworker with him when he arrived the following day.
When Bramlett questioned the caseworker about what had occurred, she discovered that William was in urgent need of a secure home environment.
She contacted her parents, ‘I’m considering pursuing being William’s forever home.’
William moved home with Bramlett and her parents in January 2020, just a few weeks after she turned 24 as a result of her research and licensing as a foster parent.
William experienced difficulties, but Paige was the first place he lived where there was constant structure and a sense of ‘I’m not going to give up on you.’
Since 2017, Julie Hirtzel has served as William’s court-appointed special advocate. She has done a fantastic job of ensuring that William receives the help he needs. She provides for her child in the same way that any parent would.
Bramlett also gained knowledge about the foster care system and the effects of trauma on children. According to her, the Indy Star, ‘people go into it thinking that love should be enough.’
She started telling her experience on social media and met other single foster parents as a result. William was finally legally adopted by Bramlett in October 2021 when he was seven years old.
He had been in six different foster homes by the time he was formally adopted. In an interview with WTHR, Bramlett said, ‘I realized that this boy needed a forever home and I didn’t want him to continue to bounce back and forth, in and out of foster homes.’
It was challenging for him to accept that he wouldn’t experience any more changes, according to Bramlett. ‘Now that I consider it, the permanence was so required. He was looking for it, and I think he now feels secure.’
Although the mother, son, and their new puppy are still getting used to their new lives, no one would alter a thing about the fact that they are now living in their own home.
Sometimes it’s difficult for me to say aloud things like, ‘Oh my my, I’m a mom. But I’m incredibly grateful for what I’ve been given and for my motherhood journey.
You don’t expect it to happen so soon, but I am aware that this is the way I was selected to be a mother.’