This month we have discussed our Safe Harbor program at length. If you missed the Bernard’s story, catch up here to read their perspective as a Care Family. Last week, we heard an unforgettable message from the family the Bernard’s serve. As we wrap up our blog series on Safe Harbor, we will be focusing on the point of view of both the Care Family children and the Safe Harbor child who has come into their home.
Above, you can see Averie and Nash Bernard walking hand-in-hand with Bobby, whose name has been changed for privacy. Below, read about each of their unique experiences as they’ve grown together in friendship, love, and trust.
The Experience of a Safe Harbor Child
When Michelle and Hanson Bernard made the decision to be a Safe Harbor family, they knew it was going to be a big change for all of them, but especially their two children, Avery and Nash. The Bernard’s didn’t take their concerns about their children lightly, but they wanted them to begin to learn at a young age what it truly means to love and serve others.
When Bobby first came into their home, no one knew what to expect, especially the children, but Bobby was the most uncertain of all. He was familiar with Mrs. B, as Bobby calls Michelle, because she worked at his school. He met Mr. Bernard when he and Mrs. B came to his house with the lady from Safe Harbor to talk to Gamma, but now he was in a car going to their house without Gamma!
The first day with the Bernard’s went very well. The kids seemed to make an immediate connection and Bobby loved having other kids to play with after being isolated for so long. As the weeks went by, Bobby was enjoying settling into a family routine and experiencing new things, but it was not without a few bumps along the way. It had just been him and Gamma for years and now he had to learn to follow new family rules and routines.
He also struggled at times to overcome the overwhelming emotions from past hurts and fears. The Bernard children, with help from their parents, have learned a deeper level of compassion and understanding for hurting people and what it means to be empathetic to the pain of others.
From The Kids: What It’s Like To Be A Part Of A Care Family
The following are a few excerpts from a conversation with each of the children about their experiences in Safe Harbor.
Averie, Age 9:
“I remember when you first told us Bobby was coming; I was super excited to meet him and do stuff with him.”
“I LOVE to play school and he’s really good at playing it with me.”
“Bobby is like having another brother to me.”
“I love taking him to church with us and seeing the big smile on his face!”
Nash, Age 6:
“Bobby likes me and I like him and we like playing together! I think Jesus smiles when we all play together.”
Bobby, Age 7:
“I love it when we play family games together!”
“Nash is like a brother to me! ”
“Mr. B wrestles and tackles me! It is so fun!”
“Mrs. B is like a momma to me!”
It became apparent to everyone that the Bernard children are truly learning what their parents hoped they would learn from their experience with Safe Harbor when little Averie said, “I think we are obeying Jesus by helping Bobby because Jesus says in the Bible to help take care of the fatherless. I’m glad Bobby and Gamma are a part of our family now!”
Find out more about Safe Harbor here.