The Hanover’s Story
The Hanovers: Finding Help and Healing
Nina Hanover’s bags were packed to leave.
The only reason she hadn’t walked out the door yet was her oldest child was missing—a runaway—again. This scenario was a far cry from what she had pictured eight years earlier when they welcomed three young foster children into their home.
Nina and her husband Tim had dreamed of having a family, but, not long into their marriage, they discovered they were unable to have biological children of their own. It didn’t matter. Knowing just how many children in the foster care system needed a home, they decided to pursue adoption through the state.
Soon, they had a full house. Three adorable biological siblings, ages 5, 3, and 1, arrived. Even though the children all had experienced a significant amount of trauma in their short lives, the Hanovers quickly adopted them, sure they could love them through and help them heal. It didn’t turn out to be quite so easy.
Now, eight years later, Nina had her bags packed. Their oldest child, a young teen, was a perpetual runaway. Their middle child, barely out of elementary school, had become violent. The youngest kept getting kicked out of church groups, and all three struggled academically. Nina felt like she lived at the schools, putting out the children’s fires.
She simply couldn’t catch a break, and, worse, she felt completely alone. The Hanover’s marriage was in shambles. Tim and Nina couldn’t even agree on how to parent which just made everything worse for everyone, including the kids.
The conflict was taking its toll physically. To cope with the stress, Nina embraced unhealthy habits which slowly began to destroy her body.
So Nina packed those bags.
One Final Lifeline
Before she walked out the door though, Nina made one last ditch effort: A phone call to Chosen. She wanted to make sure her runaway was safe and stable.
To the Chosen Care Manager, Nina poured out her heart. She explained the children’s history, the current state of their family, and the status of their marriage. She shared how she no support system, and her feelings of anger, bitterness and isolation overflowed.
The family’s Care Manager assured Nina she was not alone. She offered Nina a supportive, listening ear, and for the first time in ages, Nina felt like someone got exactly what the couple was going through.
Chosen developed a plan for the family which included advice on how to parent children with a trauma history. The Care Manager suggested activities to help build attachment with the kids and how to foster stronger bonds.
They also helped them find the right professionals, connecting the family with trauma-informed mental health specialists that the children desperately needed, plus a marriage counselor to help Tim and Nina heal their relationship and get on the same parenting page with a united, trauma-informed parenting approach. Chosen also matched Tim with a mentor to give him the support and guidance he desired.
Then Chosen also introduced a radical idea to both parents: Self-care. They were so wrapped up with the needs of their kids, they simply weren’t taking care of themselves. Now, they had time carved out individually to breathe.
The Care Manager checked in with the Hanover’s weekly, keeping them accountable to follow the suggested plan.
And then, Nina put her suitcase away.
Seven months after Chosen stepped into the Hanover’s story, it’s a joy to see significant improvement in their home. Both parents and children are building bonds. Their former runaway is home to stay, and the police haven’t been back since.
Their marriage is on the mend, and Nina’s health is dramatically better. She no longer needs medication for her health issues. While they still occasionally hear from the school, it’s not nearly as often as before. This family is on the road of healing and thriving. Nina recently told us, “I finally have hope again.”
Chosen Walks Alongside the Caregivers
Every year, Chosen helps hundreds of adoptive families build bonds of trust. And we’re looking for partners to help heal their heartbreak. Your gift gives families the assurance they need to provide attachment and permanency for kids who desperately need it.
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* Names have been changed