Kelly is 23 years old and mother of a baby boy who is now 10 weeks old. She found out about Lifehouse through a Counselor back in July who saw a reference to the home online and contacted Joan Smith, the Executive Director. Kelly went through an Intake interview with Joan and was relieved to learn she would be able to move in.
Kelly noted, “Lifehouse is a place that I can call home, it is not just a house.” Yes, they’re meeting essential needs such as food and shelter, but it is much more than that. They offer Bible studies 1-2 times per week, a daily devotion time and parenting classes.
She said she had to adjust to the flurry of activity at first, the many volunteers, the daily rhythms of life there, but she soon found that she got back what she put into it, and found it important not to “sweat the small stuff”.
She appreciates being able to share in Child Care activities. “The babies are the reason we are all here.” One of her most memorable experiences was opening gifts at Christmas. She felt a bond with the other mothers and staff, that it was a place where she truly belonged.
Kelly would like to provide a happy childhood for her little boy and aspires to a career in Nursing. When asked what was most challenging about being a new mom it was – learning to put herself first. When she takes care of herself, she paradoxically has more to give to her baby. And the most rewarding part of being a mom is seeing her baby so happy to see her when she gets home and being the one who can truly fix things for him. “I was surprised at the profound love and level of happiness my son brings.”
She summarized what has made the biggest difference at Lifehouse — structure, support, stability and encouragement.