By Author
Monday, February 26, 2024

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Imagine being asked to describe your family and childhood, and the two words that encompassed that stage of your life are “dysfunctional” and “unstable.” For H., these words describe her toddler, kid, and teenage years.

Between living with divorced parents, both of whom abused drugs and alcohol, growing up was nothing less than rough for H. She constantly felt caught in the middle of their rocky relationship, so much so that she doesn’t remember having dreams, goals, or aspirations. All she can remember is the emotional and mental trauma that has stuck with her over the last decade. It wasn’t long before her home life had an effect on other areas of her life, too. When she described the state of her home life to her teacher in 4th grade, she was quickly admitted to CPS.

From there, H. was placed into the foster care system, where she experienced over 20 different placements over five years, which meant attending over 20 different schools in that time. Knowing that she would be in a different placement sooner rather than later, her education never seemed of importance. Falling asleep in class, googling answers to questions, and cheating off of her classmates' work was how she endured moving from school to school. Overall, most of the foster families she lived with were welcoming…but the feeling of instability and insecurity never went away.

Then, H.’s story took a turn once she was placed at Hope Haven. It was there that she first felt valued, seen, and loved.

Life at Hope Haven introduced H. to consistency, dependability, and community. The ladies on staff supported and encouraged H. as she found a new routine and sought to establish healthy habits. She formed friendships with the other girls in the home, and experienced the joy of celebrating birthdays and holidays with them. She learned new skills, like cooking, cleaning, and organizing, and was given the independence to practice those skills on her own. 

Most importantly, Hope Haven made the Gospel tangible for H. Through the staff’s kindness and love for her, they illustrated the love of Jesus. Not only that, but H. and all the other girls at Hope Haven were taught the importance of studying the Bible on their own, and were given the means to claim their faith as their own. Praise God, H. chose to claim her faith in Christ in 2023!

Now that H. has moved on from Hope Haven, she is learning what it means to do life independently, which comes with its own set of challenges. Even still, H. still keeps in contact with several of the loving staff at Hope Haven, as well as several girls she met through her time at Hope Haven. H. is just one of hundreds of girls who was impacted by Hope Haven, and her story is a testament to the incredible work God is doing through Hope Haven and their staff!

Avery Morgan is an East Texas native and a homeschooled high school senior. She recently spent some time with a former resident of Hope Haven, learning her story.

Throughout her high school career, she has attended Venture Enrichment homeschool co-op where she’s held various leadership roles. She will graduate this spring and will continue her education at Dallas Baptist University where she plans to pursue a degree in psychology. She has loved getting to work alongside and learn more about Hope Haven for her senior Capstone project, and is so thankful for the knowledge and experience she has gained as a result. She cherishes time spent with friends and family, enjoys serving at church and on mission trips, and is an avid baker and coffee drinker!