Like most 4-year-old children, Paxtyn is full of life and energy. She loves to sing and dance, and her face lights up if she can make her 2-year-old sister, Eleanor, laugh. She also has a great time getting into mischief with her little brother, Etsen, who is 3 years old.
But that wasn’t always the case for this precious child. In the first 21 months of her life, she endured the pain of 15 fractured ribs and a broken clavicle — allegedly at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend. What makes this tragic story even more heartbreaking is that she was never seen by a doctor or treated for any of these injuries. Instead, she was put back in her crib and left to cry herself to sleep.
It was only when she was taken to the doctor for an unrelated condition that all of the broken bones and other injuries were discovered. An investigation came to the conclusion that the injuries were intentionally inflicted and that Paxtyn must be placed in care for protection. That’s when Olive Crest became involved in Paxtyn’s life, and contacted Kendra and Ben, a young couple who had just completed their training to be Olive Crest parents.
“Adoption had always been in our hearts.”
Kendra says that she and Ben had always talked about adopting children someday. “Adoption had always been in our hearts,” she says. Why adopt? “Because we knew there are so many children who are abused and neglected, and need someone to love them.”
Their plans were complicated when Kendra became pregnant with Etsen just as they finished their foster training.
Kendra says, “Olive Crest worked so hard to find the right child for us.”
She says that when Paxtyn came to live with them, they fell in love with her right away. Although she was too young to remember what happened to her, the pain she had endured made itself known in other ways. She had night terrors and would wake up screaming and crying in the middle of the night at least five times a week. She also suffered from severe separation anxiety. Paxtyn didn’t want to let her adoptive parents out of her sight. “It was only over time that we realized how deeply she was impacted,” Kendra says.
“But, Olive Crest was always there to encourage us and provide the resources we needed. We had a great treatment specialist who was so supportive, and we were blessed with a very good caseworker.”
“She has come a long way.”
Kendra says that Paxtyn is still overcoming a few issues. “She has some anxiety. But she’s more trusting of us, and she’s very caring and loving. She has come a long way,” she says.
Two years ago, Paxtyn’s little sister Eleanor joined the family. Ben and Kendra have since adopted both girls, and the children love each other dearly. “As far as Paxtyn is concerned,” Kendra says, “I know her little sister is her favorite person in the world. She does everything she can to keep Eleanor entertained and happy. And today Paxtyn and Etsen are partners in crime. They’re great pals.”
Asked if she would do it all again, Kendra replies, “Absolutely! We love our little girls. And if there’s anyone out there who’s thinking at all about adopting, I say, please call Olive Crest right now and talk to them about it. Don’t wait until you’re ready, because there’s never going to be a perfect time. Do it now! After all, the more people who get involved, the more kids we’ll be able to rescue.”