A couple months ago, a man with special needs was found walking by himself in Waco, Texas. Chris Barrington recently turned 30, but he has the functionality of a six-year-old and when the sheriff’s department picked him up, he couldn’t remember anything except one name: Mrs. Girard.
It turns out, he was talking about Michelle Girard, his junior high school teacher, who had him as a student for four years, but hadn’t seen him in years. Barrington’s father had leukemia and recently passed away, and when Girard got the call from the sheriff’s department, she was happy to take him in. She says he’s never had a birthday present or party or celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving, so she started off by throwing him a surprise birthday party, where he celebrated with her family - who have become his family.
Now Girard is working to make her former student a permanent part of her family by applying for legal guardianship. When she asked what happens if she didn’t take him, she was told he’d end up in an institution, and she said, “Not on my watch he’s not.”