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Brian, Then and Now

Way Places 364  June 2016

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Brian is a driven young man, a budding photographer, and a lover of math. He is athletic, disciplined, trustworthy, hard-working, and affectionate. He will graduate eighth grade this month, likely first in his grade.

Brian before Rancho Del Rey
  • Abandoned by his mother at two months old.
  • Taken in by his grandmother.
  • Crossed the river into Texas with grandmother.
  • Educated in Austin public schools.
  • After six years, returned to Mexico with his grandmother who, shortly after, died of cancer.

When Brian arrived at Rancho Del Rey two years ago, he struggled to make friends and emotional connections, in general. After Brian arrived at the Rancho, we got to know Olivia, his great aunt and legal guardian. She told us he slept in the carport because he didn’t get along with her children.

Olivia confessed that she was never able to connect with anyone emotionally. During the past two years, she has participated in our Moms’ Workshops, designed to help mothers heal from their own trauma. Now Olivia is breaking through longtime emotional barriers—to hug, to love, and to allow herself to be loved.

Brian’s story continues . . .After our March Mom’s Workshop, Olivia and her partner of 32 years got married. Soon afterward, Olivia and her husband decided to adopt Brian. Recently, Brian was heard calling Olivia “Mom,” instead of “Madrina” (godmother).

Brian plans to attend high school in the fall of 2020 through a collaborating nonprofit, Back2Back Mexico, and later to attend university. Brian hopes to become an engineer or join the military, or both. He has a wonderful way with visitors and serves as an excellent translator. He sets a high bar for his companions to follow, and for us as staff, as well.

Brian’s love for God is evident in his life. He still longs to connect with others in ways that are hard for him, but he is healing, learning, and becoming an exemplary young man, breaking the vicious cycle that he was born into.

Brian collaborated in the writing of this story.

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