Chris and DeAndre: Mosaic at Home

posted Jan 11, 2017, 12:29 PM by Unknown user

DeAndre and Chris smile at the camera.All Janice Herod has ever wanted is for someone to love her adopted son Chris just as much as she does. Thanks to Mosaic at Home provider DeAndre, she doesn’t have to worry any more.

“DeAndre and Chris do not just have a shared living relationship. DeAndre calls Chris his brother and I have gained a wonderful new son,” Janice said. 

It’s a far cry from the first time Janice met Chris. She still remembers holding him, shortly after authorities found him as an infant, abandoned in a dumpster.

“The first time I held Chris, I felt like he was mine and God had sent him to us,” Janice said.

Initially, Janice and her family were foster parents, but it wasn’t long before Chris legally became her son.

Those first years were difficult, as doctors and educators struggled to find the best way to support Chris. Early on doctors thought he had an intellectual disability and cerebral palsy, telling Janice that he would never walk or talk. Finally, when Chris was 6, he was of finally diagnosed with autism and at 8 he began to walk. 

“After years of medical attention with specialists, we realized we would have to fight for therapy and services for him,” Janice said of her son’s early years. “He was disregarded not only in the medical field but by schools as well.”

As Chris grew into a young adult, his behavior became more challenging and Janice worried about his future.

“Even though I wanted Chris at home with me, I needed help,” she said. “I chose Mosaic as Chris’s provider because their staff were kind, supportive and compassionate. I wanted Chris to be loved and cared for like I had done for all these years.”

For the first two years at Mosaic, Chris lived with roommates in a group home with around- the-clock support staff. After a while, his disruptive behaviors started to lessen and he grew more and more independent. 

Chris’s accomplishments “would have never been possible without the dedicated Mosaic staff and what they accomplished with Chris,” Janice said. “This is something I truly never thought would be possible for Chris.”

It was a wonderful environment for Chris, and through it, his family and Mosaic saw a special bond develop between Chris and direct care staffer, DeAndre. The pair had a relationship that developed into a strong friendship, and after careful consideration, DeAndre became Chris’s Mosaic at Home provider.

DeAndre and Chris live like brothers would: they enjoy going out to the movies, shopping, frequenting the recreation center, watching sports on television and just hanging out together.

The pair both love listening to music, so DeAndre makes sure to play it often so Chris can enjoy it. 

The transition from living in a group home to moving into a provider’s home through Mosaic at Home can be daunting for some parents, but for Janice, it was the next logical step for her son to continue to grow as a young adult. The local executive director for Mosaic said Chris has gained a huge amount of confidence since his move in with DeAndre.

“I lay a lot of that at DeAndre’s feet because he just totally believes in Chris,” she said.

DeAndre says supporting Chris isn’t just a job, it’s the most humbling and pride-filled experience he has ever had.

This post originally appeared on Mosaic's blog, www.mosaicpossible.org
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