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As a new MissionCorps member who lives in the house, I learned very quickly that what everyone had been saying, about Maggie’s Place being like family, or the houses becoming your homes really was true. I became aware of this newfound family very quickly, with the way I began to care about the women and my fellow MissionCorps members – how we would celebrate and remorse together, laugh and cry together, and even discuss our preference of socks together over watching the movie “Shrek”. One of my favorite aspects of this family, however, is its large size and its capacity to grow. While celebrating holidays together, the coordinating office Fiat invites all of the staff, current moms, MissionCorps, alumni babies, and alumni moms to partake in the fun. The Halloween party was just this past Saturday and so I was able to see all of these different family members together, which was very humbling in a sense.

The morning of the party, the Michael House decided to put together a last minute group costume and go as a pack of dominos together (or at least half of us did), so we drove to Fiat and toppled out of two minivans together as one might expect out of such a large family. It was early, so the party had just begun, but it quickly became more crowded. Fiat’s parking lot, lawn, playground, and building were quickly filling up with alumni babies, toddlers, and children of all ages dressed as Spiderman, princesses, mermaids, bumblebees, knights, and various other cute things. Children were laughing, screaming, jumping, and throwing tantrums while moms and dads tried to soothe them or just soak in their child’s happiness if even for just a few minutes as their faces were being painted at the face painting tent. The child chaos lasted for several hours and went through lunch time.  All the while I am just trying to absorb the fact that I am here with all of these beautiful infants, children and their parents, the Fiat staff and my fellow MissionCorps members as my family, tied together with the bond of Maggie’s Place.

The bond that is shared by being a part of the Maggie’s Place family is one that can never be broken. If Maggie’s Place has touched your life, it will remain there forever as part of your story. Alumni moms are some of the biggest cheerleaders to the moms currently living with Maggie’s Place. They can share their rough patches with current moms and have proof that making it out is possible and can share in their joys and sorrows with the Fiat staff who continue supporting alumni moms directly. As MissionCorps, our job is to support the current moms and their babies living in the homes with our direct service, while Fiat supports us by cheering us on and helping form us with regular formations and trainings. Maggie’s Place is a family who supports one another through and through in all sorts of ways. We learn from each other, even if our stories seem to have no connection to one another, because really they do, and that connector is that both were touched by Maggie’s Place. I love parties like the recent Halloween party, because they remind me of the very large family I walked into by becoming a MissionCorps member at Maggie’s Place. I joined a family who shares the good and the bad together, who never leaves one another, and who continually supports each member as they need. Whether it is the 5 year old Anthony dressed as Spiderman, or the little Cinderella and Snow White from the Magdalene House, or the pack of dominos tumbling out of the two white Dodge Caravans, everyone is family here at Maggie’s Place.

By Clare Shear, MissionCorps Member at the Michael House