“Real family does not come from your blood. It is the people standing beside you when no one else is....”
My heart cannot adequately articulate the great love and joy I have encountered this past year. From a closed book who hid behind a mask, who suppressed everything that came into her mind and world, to someone who can turn to those around her who have stood beside her and shown her just how loved and supported she is.
I am so grateful for my different walks of life where people have proven themselves to be family.
From my second family whom I love deeply, to my church and guiding families, now to my South African family who have taught me so much, stood with me through all the storms and walked this incredible yet crazy and challenging journey with me, holding me up in the good and the bad.
It truly has been a gift to have family reinforced in my world yet again, and to be blessed with an extension to my family.
“Blood makes you related, Love makes you family....”
There’re so many quotes we could look to around friends becoming family, and being the family you choose and so forth, but I love these two I’ve chosen. The one above reflects a deeper journey and relationships I’ve found myself in, and this one reflects the family our kids find themselves in when they call TLC home.
Although these beautiful babes may not be surrounded by blood relations, they are surrounded by an incredible family who love them deeply- and that is what matters the most.
Each and every child and person on this planet deserves to feel deep love and care, to feel that love and know they have a place in this world. This is an important thing to know and feel as they grow up into a world that can be so negative at times, and in a world that they have already been hurt.
Life at TLC has for me reinforced the deep beauty of love and our ability to love so freely and deeply and in turn be loved.
Love is a tricky term. We don’t tell each other we love each other enough, or we use the term loosely when we don’t mean it and people end up hurt.
What I can tell you honestly and joyfully though, is that in my time here at TLC I have learnt the deep privilege of loving honestly and felt the heart warming joy of being loved deeply.Words cannot articulate those feelings and it would take a lot to diminish those feelings.
Love does a lot of things and one of those things is that it truly does create family...
“You’re never too old to play outside....”
Think you are too old to jump in puddles?
Think you are too old to jump on the trampoline?
Think you are too old to swing?
Think you are too old to slide?
We are never too old. We may think it’s socially unacceptable and not do it for those reasons but as long as your body can move,you can play....
I’m not very good at moving my body willingly but I’ve challenged myself deeply this past year.
I have overcome my fear of trampolines,
I have gotten ridiculously dirty,
I have swung on swings,
I have gone down slides,
I have played with joy in my heart with those I love outside.
Society gives us this preconception that adults should do and be this,but let me tell you- spending this last year of my life in an environment dedicated to the wellbeing of little people, staying young at heart and connected to those innocent hearts is a blessing. Singing and dancing and swinging and jumping, it’s all good for the soul, body and heart.
I am a Young Salvationist who lives in Upper Hutt, Wellington. I am passionate about enhancing the life experiences of others and do this in my paid employment as a Support worker for those with Intellectual Disabilities and as a volunteer leader for GirlGuiding New Zealand. I love to create, write and travel the world and have a passion for submerging myself in the cultures of each place I travel. I left my heart in Africa a month before Covid sent the world into lockdown and I cannot wait to be able to return and serve in a continent that stole so much of my heart.