So much of growing up has to do with finding a sense of belonging—home.
Taylor and Tyler Savoy are twin brothers and they know about that.
“Our dad used to take us to the McDonalds off of Phelan Street,” Tyler started.
Taylor finished the thought, “Yeah but we haven’t seen him since we were 8 years old.”
When Buckner campus home foster mother Monica Garrett first met Taylor and Tyler Savoy, the brothers did not want to talk and did not want to go to school.
“Taylor and Tyler came into my house when they were 11 years old,” Garrett said. “I had to learn to be in their world if I was ever going to be able to share my world with them.”
Child Protective Services moved them to Buckner Children’s Village in Beaumont, Texas, a residential home for foster children, where they could be together and given care appropriate for their lives with autism.
This Saturday, nearly eight years later, the brothers are graduating from West Brook High School in Beaumont and talking about the kinds of things all high school graduates talk about. The stuff of growing up—getting a job, cars, the senior class trip around the corner and of course, Wi-Fi.
“The Wi-Fi is pretty slow here,” Tyler said, keying something into the face of his tablet. Tyler wore a blue polo and jeans. He has been taking graphic design classes at a local community college.
“This design came out OK,” Tyler swiped quickly though some digital images. “But what I really want to do is make a really solid mix. I like music.”
Taylor walked into the room, sporting a red polo. He has different ideas for the future, after high school.
“I want to find a way to start my own business and save money,” he said. “Trucks are cool. I think I could work as a mechanic after learning how.”
Talking about their favorite moments in high school, what they considered were their greatest accomplishments were times when they felt like they belonged.
For Taylor that meant serving as manager of the football team. For Tyler, having graphic design classes was a space to be creative and to share.
“I used to be pretty feisty when I was little,” Tyler said. “But then I learned to control my anger. You grow out of that stuff.”
The brothers will likely continue with Buckner, living at home with Monica for a year or two while they transition into life after high school and figure out work and living situations as part of Buckner Children and Family Services transitional programing. There’s plenty to figure out but Taylor and Tyler are concentrated on celebrating.
“In the beginning, they liked having a routine. They needed some stability,” Monica said. “I gave them a chart to give an idea of what to expect and when, then I removed the chart as they became more independent.”