Behind the smiles of each of our clients is a unique story that began many years before joining our family. They are stories of loving parents learning the news that their precious child will be different from most others. Together they would face life-long challenges coping with the seemingly insurmountable issues associated with the diagnosis.
One family is Paula and John Clark and their daughter Amy. Paula and John did their very best to give Amy a life of normalcy and opportunity as they navigated the turbulent waters of balancing finances, caring for their daughter, searching for the best placement for her education, and planning for her future. Like many other parents, a child with developmental challenges requires sacrifice and the loss of freedoms and independence they may have otherwise enjoyed.
Never regretting their life choices, led only by unconditional love, they cared for Amy for five decades. Realizing they were becoming older and may eventually need some help themselves, the worries about Amy’s future became their focus. They prayed about it, relied on God’s guidance, and began looking for an appropriate residential environment for Amy. One that would not disrupt her familiar routine of going to church, having daily devotions, and being surrounded by people who would love and care for her as they have. Their search proved futile.
Then a chance encounter at their church and an invitation to some special events organized by Protected Harbor changed everything. Amy joined the residents of our homes in Spiritual Camp outings as well as joining the fun at our Olympics games. Amy was hooked. She felt she belonged and not just as a visitor or a spectator. She was drawn by the love and camaraderie and the excitement of a new living option. The familiar family feelings she experienced with her future “sisters and brothers” was warm and inviting. Amy could continue her daily devotions, join her Protected Harbor family in prayer and worship and most importantly, continue attending church with her mom; something she always cherished. Paula and John felt this was the right fit for Amy, and Amy enthusiastically agreed.
Today, behind her beautiful smile, is Amy’s unspoken gratitude for having received a new, secure future full of adventure. Behind Paula’s and John’s smiles is the certainty that their daughter is receiving the best care possible and that she is flourishing in her new environment.