I have always been surrounded by family, especially my parents and four siblings. I would have never imagined that I could learn so much about family while being 28 hours away from them during my service at Maggie’s Place.
My Own Family- Selfless
First, I found out how supportive my family was when my transition to serve at Maggie’s Place in Arizona was not easy for them. I have been shown a selfless love from people who care deeply about me even when it is difficult. Loving someone means willing their good and encouraging their response to God’s call. They support me through the everyday tasks and stay in close contact.
Other Families- Holy
One Serve Saturday we had a group of families who home-school their children over to help us. Of course they were such a great help, but even more impressive was how the moms at the house took note. They asked the parents about how they taught their kids to be so well behaved and the values they passed along to them. Through these interactions, I learned how holy, attractive, and life-giving these families are. It is really beautiful to see how these families give back to the community.
Non-biological Families- Welcoming
Nothing can compare to the love of a family. I was especially struck by the care of so many volunteers who love us like family though we are not related. The way that they have supported us and welcomed us from the beginning is quite overwhelming. They seem to have a keen sense of what we need without even asking. Whether it is just to talk about what is happening in the world or to fold laundry when our day has been really long, our volunteers have adopted us in a special way.
Maggie’s Place Families- Devoted
One of the greatest things that I have discovered about families was from the moms themselves. Even before the babies came, I saw how much love and devotion they had for their new little family. As the babies came home from the hospital, I realized that it changed everything. The moms devoted all of their time and energy to caring for this new life. As I often tell them, I am continuously struck by their “mom moments,” everything from wiping some drool with their own dress to getting excited when the baby has gained a pound. They rock the babies well into the night and spend the days planning their futures together. The moms care for the babies and love them unreservedly.
My Maggie’s Place family has shown me so many new attributes of families. I am incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to learn these lessons from such courageous people.
By Rachel Niekamp, a MissionCorps member