There are many horror stories of the foster care system. But there are also many horror stories of biological families abusing their children, the children being removed, and then thankfully the child is placed in a loving and caring environment that allows them to thrive. While this is not always the case, it was the case in Marie Surprenant’s story.
Marie Surprenant was only 8 months old when she was brought into Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hospital with severe injuries which included multiple fractures, bruises, and a spinal cord injury. The injury to her spine left her a paraplegic, meaning she could not move her lower body. Her biological mother and her mother’s boyfriend were then arrested, putting Marie into the foster care system. She was eventually adopted by Michele Suprenant, who knew when she adopted Marie that she would need around the clock care and would most likely be unable to walk.
Now Marie is 8 years old, and is a vibrant little girl with lots of personality. She decided she wanted to write a letter to the social worker who worked on her case, and ended up getting her into her mother Michele’s care. The note is a very touching, heartfelt thank you from Marie’s perspective, showing a lot of knowledge for someone so young. She completely understands the kind of environment she came from. But instead of anger, she is simply thankful that Michele found her.
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Marie’s injuries create scoliosis, meaning she needs rods in her back that require surgery every six months. She hopes that she will one day be able to gain enough strength to be able to walk. She will be attending one of the area’s top private schools in the fall, and her mother Michele couldn’t be any more proud.
Marie is even talking about wanting to be an orthopedic surgeon, but doesn’t want to have to go into surgery at 6am! She asks her surgeon career planning questions quite frequently. With her intelligence, determination, and heart, I have no doubt that she can become whatever she wants to be!