In 2001 at age 15, Draheim ran away from her foster care family in Michigan and fled to Florida.
After locating her in Florida, human services officials decided that she could stay there, and evidently some sort of arrangement was made where representatives from the two States would check on her well-being.
Unfortunately, this did not occur and both agencies lost track of her.
And later, Stephanie became a star in pornographic movies--some of the work believed to be done while she was still considered a "ward of the state."
The article provided background on the girl's (now woman) difficult life.
At two-years-old, her mom dropped off Stephanie and her young half-sister at their grandmother's house.
Stephanie's mom then told the grandmother that she was unable to care for them any longer:
...In a handwritten letter to Genesee County Family Court, Rushton, formerly of Montrose, said her daughter, Kristen Walton, called her in an "unstable condition in 1988, asking her to come immediately and take Draheim and her older half-sister back home with her.
"I flew the next morning and returned the same day with the understanding I would care for them until she could put her life in order," Rushton's letter said.
Neither her mother nor her biological or legal father did.
One caseworker wrote in a report that Draheim had "no contact whatsoever with her mother. ... No gifts ... no financial support ... no telephone calls."
Rushton, who could not be reached for this story, told the court that her granddaughter needed to know someone would be there for her.
"This baby needs love and stable living conditions," she wrote soon after taking Draheim in.
But Rushton, who had money problems, was later evicted from her own home. By 1996, Stephanie was living with her biological father, Robert Draheim, in a Flint mobile home park.
Court records indicate a caseworker started the process of taking her from her parents and putting her up for adoption after tips that Robert Draheim was leaving his daughter at home alone and driving drunk with Stephanie in his vehicle.
Like most children over age 11 in foster care, Stephanie Draheim was never adopted. She lived in six foster homes and ran away from at least two.
"She was intelligent, but the more intelligent they are, the more trouble they can get into," said Rodger Mead of Burton, one of the last foster parents Draheim stayed with...
Looking through some of the public arrest records for Florida, I saw that Stephanie was arrested at least seven times between 2006-2008.
The arrests were for driver's license infractions, assault, and fraud.
But I did not see any criminal charges in the last three-plus years.
This offers a glimmer of hope that she may have overcome the many obstacles she has faced since age two.
The article ends with Michigan authorities stating that they have made improvements to reduce the chance that others fall through the cracks in the future.
Let's hope so.
I am sure my life journey would have been much different had I walked in Stephanie's footsteps.
So my prayers are with the many "Stephanies," "Stephens", "Jaivers,"etc., that enter this world without stable family support systems.
As well as the organizations, like Big Brothers Big Sisters, trying to make an impact in young lives.
Because being a child and then teenager is difficult enough with parents/guardians who love and care about you--what an uphill climb it must be for those with very different realities.