Hometown: Greensboro, North Carolina
Josh has always felt somewhat of a loner. When he was young, he often played by himself, and immersed himself in video games, books on cars, and drawing comic book characters. Then one day, when things blew up at home with his father, with whom he always felt he had a love/hate relationship, he got the urge to steal a video game at the mall—and something changed forever.
Regularly, he found himself “taking things” sometimes for the thrill of it; and at age 15, he was arrested for the first time. For the past two years, he’s continued to get into trouble both at school and occasionally with the law. His latest charge was attempted armed robbery.
While doing time in a detention facility during the past six months, Josh has been thinking more and more about his childhood, and about missing out on having real parents and something that resembled a real family.
Josh has had a tough life from the time he was a child. He was abandoned by his biological mom; and then his grandmother, who had a track record of drug use and alcohol, wasn’t even capable of caring for him. His father, who liked to gamble, was typically out of work, rarely at home, and was barely in the picture. So at age four, Josh was placed under the care of the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Since, he’s known only foster care and has been pretty much a moving target — continually in and out of temporary foster family settings.
Josh struggles with feeling abandoned, and he says: “It’s like I don’t even exist. I just move through the world like a ghost.” He admits too, there’s barely a connection with his current foster mom, Margaret. They don’t have a good relationship, and Josh has never felt like he could talk with her about things on his mind, or his feelings of loneliness.
Recently, Josh was encouraged by DCF to begin therapy with Dr. Michael Gomez, mostly as part of his post-arrest “recovery and treatment” program. Since his 17th birthday, he’s been responding well to therapy with “Dr. G,” who has been encouraging Josh to reconnect with his biological father. Josh feels he can speak his mind with Dr. G, even if he doesn’t agree with him. With his therapist’s help he's begun weekly visits with his Dad, who now has a new family after re-marrying several years ago, and having spent almost 5 years in prison.
Since this reconnection, Josh is struggling to figure out if and how he fits into the picture with his Dad. He is determined to build a relationship, and wants to begin a new future by becoming part of his father’s family. What he’s realizing is that it’s not as easy or “guaranteed” as he imagined.