Few details are known of Alexei’s early childhood. What we know is what little he remembers of his first seven years.
“I was born in Russia to an alcoholic single mother who ignored me most of the time, and beat me when she was drunk. I remember knocking her bottle of vodka off a table. She picked up the broken bottle and stabbed me with it three times.
After that, I was sent to an orphanage. I don’t know if she sent me there or if the authorities took me away from her. It was a terrible time and a horrible place. I don’t talk about it.”
When Alexei was seven, he was adopted and brought to Virginia. Immediately, he exhibited a number of mental health issues for which his new parents sought treatment. They wanted their son to heal from the horrors he had previously endured.
Like so many children coming out of orphanages in Russia, Alexei was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, depression, ADHD and other disorders… all of which resulted in physical and verbal aggression, manipulation, and an utter inability to control his impulses.
Adding to Alexei’s trauma… his adoptive parents couldn’t handle Alexei’s many problems, and they vacated the adoption.
Over the next several years, Alexei bounced around through multiple foster families. He’d worked with seven different psychologists and psychiatrists while in foster care. He’d been placed in 15 different out-of-home facilities including hospitalizations and residential treatment programs. When he was charged with two counts of theft, two counts of assault & battery, and one count of property destruction, Alexei was sent to juvenile detention. Nothing seemed to work. Alexei needed help, and he needed it NOW.
The department of social services that had been working with Alexei finally sent him to Jackson-Feild where we discovered that he’s quite intelligent and articulate. He’s resilient, and has a strong work ethic. Like most teens, Alexei loves technology and gadgets. He has the methodical and detail-oriented mind of an engineer.
One of Alexei’s greatest strengths is his last foster family. They were so committed to him that they actively participated with Alexei in family therapy sessions.
Alexei earned his GED in June from our Gwaltney School and spoke at the commencement ceremony. He concluded his remarks saying:
“I don’t think Jackson-Feild helped me…
I know Jackson-Feild helped me.”