The first youth ever referred to WAY Alliance—before our organization even launched—ended up being adopted by our founder, Joy Miller. Reader’s Digest recently wrote about this young man’s unusual story.
Joy Miller first met Logen when he called WAY Alliance, a non-profit she runs that helps teens transition out of foster care. “At first glance, he was just a 17-year-old kid who’d run away from his foster home that we were trying to keep from being homeless,” she recalls. But the teenager had already lived through a lifetime’s worth of troubles: He’d been adopted once and then relinquished, did a stint (unfairly, Joy says) in the juvenile justice system, and had endured five out-of-home placements. And now, after years of turmoil, the system was going to just spit him out on the streets on his 18th birthday.
She knew she had to help him. At first, she was simply trying to find him a safe place to stay while he figured out his next move. Unfortunately, all the shelters were full, and she couldn’t find anyone who would take him, until her parents volunteered. Joy, her husband, Jeff, and their [three] children got to know Logen while he stayed there for a few days.
Then something strange and incredible happened. “As we continued to work on getting Logen’s housing figured out, I soon started getting the feeling—a very strong feeling—that Logen wasn’t supposed to go anywhere,” she says. “That he was actually supposed to stay with us. That he was supposed to be part of our family.”