November 3rd, 2015
Who are FamilyHome Providers?
They are a wonderful and diverse species! From our experience in the EAF FamilyHome program, there are no two that are alike. But they do have one common trait a heart that is big enough, warm enough and open enough to welcome someone to be a part of their lives and home.
Let me tell you about some of the diverse behaviours and characteristics of this unfathomable species. There is one family who invited a young man to live with them, then another, during which time they increased their own family through having their own 2 children. These children have never known their home without these two young men.
The four children of another family have also grown up with the man who lives with them – he attended all their graduations and weddings and is still at home when they come back to visit with their own children.
Another family enjoyed long vacations every year in Florida in their large-sized motor home along with their long-term homesharers. It would not have been a proper vacation without them!
How about when you are called to Mission for a year in Africa – well of course the whole family, including homesharers, were involved in that adventure and made their mark through their individual roles!
One provider consulted his 2 homesharers in the selection of a suitable apartment for them all to live together. The 3 guys set up “house” and lived together for 3 years.
When a sharer left the family with whom he had lived for 8 years, the providers “retired”. Not for long! They went on to provide respite, then intensive support to one, then another man, who were both needing medical care, before welcoming another man into their home on a permanent basis after his hospitalization. This is an example of chronic “provider-itis”!
There are a number of providers who have come to FamilyHome as foster parents whose foster children are aging out of children’s services. The thought that these “children” would leave the family because they were turning 18 was not one they considered, and so as adults they remain with their “families”.
What is the measure of care, concern, support, encouragement that providers have – limitless!
What is the measure of their patience, fortitude, hope, optimism – boundless!
What is the measure of their humility, modesty, generosity, acceptance – unending!
As I said, a species that is as diverse as it is wonderful and which makes a huge contribution to the lives of others and our communities. I know there are many undiscovered members of this species out there who may not as yet have found the watering hole that is called FamilyHome Program. We will keep the pathways clear and welcome you for refreshment.
~Niki Stevenson, Program Manager