Janae goes from silence to songbird

Dec 22, 2023

Janae came to Sally’s House after she was released from the hospital. Her father and mother were both arrested after Janae’s infant sister had been fatally abused.

Janae was three and a half years old, barely spoke, and was covered in scars from cigarette burns on her arms and legs.

She did not speak for her first five days at Sally’s House. Instead, Janae would scream for most of the day and night, barely sleeping. She seemed to be afraid to let down her guard and rest. Staff took their time and gave Janae all the space that she needed.

On the sixth day, a staff member opened a new children’s book and began reading it aloud while sitting on a couch. Janae walked to the other side of the room and sat down, looking at the staff member. Little by little, Janae approached the couch until she finally found a seat several feet away from the book reader.  A different child walked up and sat next to the staff member on the couch, prompting Janae to move closer until she was on the other side of the staff member.

It seemed like no staff member could breathe as Janae sat back and listened. That was the first of many tests that Janae gave to staff to evaluate if they were trustworthy. Staff passed them all and within three weeks of being placed at Sally’s House, Janae laughed for the first time of her stay.

Over the next month, this young girl blossomed and drastically reduced her screaming. She began sleeping at night, eating her food, and making faces at staff members when they talked to her.

Janae required many appointments due to her years of extensive abuse but wanted to be near staff each time social workers brought her back to Sally’s House.

When going to her foster home, Janae could be heard singing most of the way. Staff at Sally’s House were honored to witness this three-and-a-half-year-old girl's journey from silence to songbird.

If you believe in how Sally’s House is making a positive difference in young lives, please consider making a financial gift to help in this effort. You can make a tax-deductible donation by visiting www.makingspokanebetter.org and clicking on Donate to this Community. Please include that your gift is for ‘use at Sally’s House Spokane.’

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