One By One: We Are Changing Lives
At the House of Possibilities, we welcome all families who are in need of support. We provide much needed relief when a family needs it most. Gratitude abounds as we help the total family be the best that they can be. Here are a few stories that will give you a glimpse of our family we call HOPe. Every family has a story. Welcome to ours.
Bailey B. - Head of the Table
Bailey loves hayrides, trampoline parks and going out to dinner with her friends. Her excitement begins when her mother pulls up to the parking lot of HOPe on a Saturday morning. She may be wheelchair bound and nonverbal, but she certainly knows how to have a good time and make new friends.
"Everyone knows her,” said Deneen B., Bailey’s mother. Before she became a regular fixture at HOPe, socializing was a challenge for Bailey and she had limited friendships. “She became used to being excluded from those around her and now she has a supportive community of friends,” said Deneen.
With plenty of family support, Bailey’s family was seeking a place where she can engage in activities and seek friendships. Also, with both parents working full time, seeking respite for Bailey helped the family settle down and find routine. However, Bailey’s mom insists, “We just want Bailey to smile.”
Sitting at the head of the table during an outing was something she had never done before. “Bailey eats pureed food and seeing her enjoying herself with her friends at the head of the table brought me great joy and laughter. She would have never done that before,” said Deneen.
Watching her daughter experience community through activities and new friendships makes her feel like Bailey has found happiness. “I finally feel like, I found it!” said Deneen.
Ja’kahrie - Finding Hope and Friendship Among Despair
After spending a long weekend struggling to find a safe way to occupy their son, Ja’kahrie, both Chris and Kathy decided to seek respite care. Ja’kahrie, who is a 14 year old boy with a bright smile and lovable disposition, was longing for a place to go where he could meet suitable friends and peers. His limited social abilities prevented him from continuing age-appropriate friendships in his neighborhood and around him. After searching for a place where he can be adequately taken care of and flourish, Chris and Kathy found HOPe.
“This organization is appropriately called HOPE,” said Kathy, Ja’kahrie’s mother. “Ja’kahrie is a good kid, but just can't join in any kind of activities.” His family's concern is that as he gets older, he’ll need more structure and order. “HOPe is a place where he has friends and peers—a place where he can go and be himself, he can be comfortable and feel safely taken care of.”
One of Ja’kahrie’s favorite outings was going to the circus. “He loved being with his friends amid all the chaos and stimulation!” said Kathy. Both Chris and Kathy are excited that their son can attend community events with his friends and peers, rather than just his parents. “He now has the ability to socialize like those around him.” With limited cognitive and language abilities, Ja’kahrie is incredibly socially based and searches for ways to connect with people. However, he is also aware when people are not being kind to him and this becomes very hurtful. “It's sad it seems that this society, that we have created and are a part of, doesn't have much space for children who are "different" and don't fit in. There is precious little empathy for them or their families,” said Kathy. At HOPe, Kathy and Chris feel that the staff is unfailingly positive, optimistic, respectful and welcoming and see their son flourish and grow with new friends and a new community.
Mira W. - An Expression of Joy and Happiness
Mira is a very expressive child. She will communicate with her eyes, facial expressions and tone of voice. Although she is non-verbal, she will find a way to let you know what she wants. She is very social and enjoys her time with friends and the adult staff at HOPe.
“When we just mention that she is going to HOPe, especially the overnights, she gets a huge smile on her face!” Said Marc W., Mira’s dad.
Mira has flourished as she has created bonds of friendship. “On one overnight, Mira slept in the same room as a qualified staff member who was working that night. Other staff was delighted when they heard Mira communicating and laughing! Now, mentioning the person’s name always gets a smile from Mira,” said Marc.
Mira's family turned to respite care when they realized that they needed to spend quality time with Mira’s siblings and seek rest for themselves. In their household, Mira’s needs always come first. They also believed that it would be good for Mira to have an active social life with her own friends.
“HOPe has been huge in allowing us to have time completely devoted to our other kids who often get a little short changed as far as our attention goes, given our focus on Mira. And it also gives my wife and I a chance to just have some time to ourselves,” said Mark.
Molly B. - Running Full Speed Ahead With Love and Laughter
Molly B. has a twin 9 year old brother. He plays sports, loves to watch movies and play with school friends. Molly shares his same interests, but has been told she is too active to participate in most programs and activities. Due to her disabilities, Molly couldn’t do the things her twin brother could…..until her family found HOPe.
Molly has a dynamic personality with a persona that is full of life and humor, but she is the entire focus of her family. Her mother says, “Molly goes full speed ahead and you have to keep up with her,” said Lisa B. With sole attention on Molly, her mother felt that her siblings were not getting enough attention and the family was suffering. There was a time when her parents felt that Molly needed special care and attention that would be found outside of the home. At her wit's end and in fear that she can’t stay home, Molly’s mother found refuge at HOPe.
“HOPe enables Molly to get out her energy and be happy while I manage life at home, work and our other children. Molly walks into HOPe like she owns it,” said Lisa. Molly loves Adventure Club, where properly equipped staff takes them on organized outings in the Boston area. Since Molly struggles with sleep, the Overnight Respite program allows her to do the things she enjoys, while being properly cared for overnight. Lisa said, “Molly loves to cook and bake. The staff soothes her at night when she can’t sleep.” Meanwhile, her family is sleeping comfortable at home, knowing Molly is well cared for and coming home the next day.
Tyler P. - A Family United and Flourishing with Love
After being involved with Big Brother Big Sister, Pamela P. decided to be a foster parent. She was Tyler’s foster mother for a year and a half, until she had the opportunity to adopt him. Tyler is 14 years old and enjoys watching movies with friends and exercising.
As a mother who works full-time, she had not found a place to leave Tyler where he would adequately be cared for. Her family is not in a position to assist with childcare, so as a single mom she’s made sacrifices to give her son the best life possible. “I feel exposing him to the world is one of the most important things I can do for him. We are very active, so HOPe has been a great fit,” said Pamela. Tyler participates in age-appropriate activities in the community through Saturday Adventure Club. “Because the program is so well staffed and equipped to handle the needs of participants, my son is able to enjoy a Saturday afternoon at the circus or zoo while I enjoy some time to myself.”
Tyler, who appears high functioning, needs constant supervision and engagement or he will find his way into trouble, his mother said. “I'm always looking for quality respite care that's affordable, but I couldn't find an organization that offered both quality and affordability until I learned about HOPe. It's important to me that my son is not only safe, but enjoys himself.”
With separation anxiety, HOPe was the first place he felt comfortable and made friends. Now, Pamela can find time to experience her own life, while Tyler is well taken care of and having fun. “I can relax!” said Pamela.