Stephanie is the adult mother of three children. Because she too was in a shelter seeking refuge from an abusive spouse, she was allowed to visit her children while they were at the Austin Children’s Shelter. Here, Stephanie shares her story, giving her perspective as a parent.
A Mother’s Perspective
I am the single mother of three incredible children. Many years ago, when I was married, there was an Emergency Order signed by a Judge in the county where we lived to remove my children from our home. My three children, ages 15, 5 and 2 at the time, were placed in two separate shelters and I was placed at a shelter for battered women. The shelters where we were all placed were indeed just that… shelter; a place of refuge, a place for cover. They were dark, isolated, secluded and remote or so everyone thought. Just two days later a series of events made it necessary for all of us to be transferred to other locations, to another city. The location for my children was the Austin Children’s Shelter.
Upon arrival at the Austin Children’s Shelter we immediately knew this was more than just a shelter. It was not just a refuge or a place for cover; it was a sanctuary, a safe, nurturing place of safety where all three of my children could live together. The Austin Children’s Shelter was my children’s home for the next several months. The opportunity for them to be with one another at the same place, sit down at meal time together, play and interact with each other, give each other kisses and hugs every night before bedtime was a critical component in the healing process from the trauma we all had endured.
After my children and I were reunited we chose to make Austin our permanent home. I will forever be thankful for the very good care my children received while they were thriving at the Austin Children’s Shelter. My children are now 27, 18 and 15. We are all extremely happy and exceedingly successful in our own right.
I am a believer that every experience we have, every person that touches our lives are all threads that make up the fabric of who we are today. The message I want to share with you is that it was the values and practices, the kindness, the nurturing, the unwavering passion and commitment demonstrated by the dedicated staff of the Austin Children’s Shelter that will assist in sustaining my family forever.
My hope is, with your continued generous support and kind spirit of giving, other children will be able to have a similar, positive experience at the Austin Children’s Shelter as well.