CREED FAMILY STORY

It Takes a Team to Keep a Family Together

When Missy and Griff Creed were licensed to become foster parents in 2011, their hope was to be a home that would keep sibling groups together. In November of 2011, they received an emergency placement call for three little girls. The day before Thanksgiving, they met the girls and their lives were forever changed.

“We often laugh remembering how we would say, ‘We can do anything for 90 days,’” said Missy Creed. They certainly did not expect the “90 day” emergency placement to last five years. The girls are now ten, eight and seven. 

“The first six months to a year were overwhelmingly difficult, and now, thankfully, we have to be reminded of many of those difficult memories,” she said. The girls came into the Creed’s home, struggling with a slew of behaviors. Therapeutically, it was clear the girls were dealing with attachment issues and also, after many abuse disclosures, emotional and mental instability translated into unsafe and extreme behavior. Feeling they were not up to the challenges, Griff and Missy decided on two different occasions they could not continue as foster parents for these little girls.

Both times, Cornerstones of Care stepped in to support the family. “They said: ‘Now that we have a clearer understanding of what the issues are, we know better how to support you and help to meet your needs’,” said Missy. 

The Full Support System

The Creed family cites the “whole Cornerstones of Care team” working together to meet the needs of both the foster children and the foster parents. In addition to the support of Cornerstones of Care’s Foster Care Case Managers, the Creeds were provided special training so Missy and Griff could work as members of a treatment team. Treatment teams help to create a structured healing environment for young children with a history of emotional and behavioral problems.

“The case workers have been great and always available; they are like friends,” said Missy. “On one visit, the case manager saw the girls playing cards on the floor and immediately sat down on the floor with them to play, meeting them where they were, engaging them from the start.”

A year and a half into their placement, the middle girl was admitted to Cornerstones of Care – Spofford Campus’ residential treatment program for seven months. “We found ourselves in a situation that was seemingly out of control,” said Missy. “The medication she was on was the problem. As hard as it was to have her living somewhere else, Cornerstones of Care was able to stabilize her, and she is off all medication. Without Cornerstones of Care, we would not have been able to do that. It can be very difficult and unsafe to transition off of certain medicines. They were the support we needed to help her. In the end, the placement stayed intact and she was able to stay with her sisters.”

The girls all continued to receive outpatient therapy through Cornerstones of Care until the family recently moved to Minnesota.

A Growing Family

Additionally, two and a half years ago, two younger siblings of the sisters, a three-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy, were placed with the Creeds. Both biological parents had terminated their rights and the Creeds have already adopted them. And now, as of February 14, 2017, the Creeds officially became a forever family of seven when they finalized the adoption of the three girls that changed their lives nearly five years ago.

“I can’t help but think that the Cornerstones of Care team has always been there for us,” said Missy. “The team stepped in to provide help when we’ve needed it. Being part of an equipped team is the glue that holds a difficult placement together. The team allows you to breathe when you start to feel overwhelmed. They are all so knowledgeable, and that expertise helps you keep moving forward, instead of feeling stuck. Our team has kept our placement together and this family moving forward. I am very thankful for that.” 

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The Creed Family Adoption photo

Adoption Day at the Creed house

“I can’t help but think that the Cornerstones of Care team has always been there for us. The team stepped in to provide help when we’ve needed it."

—Missy Creed