Brandon’s Story – A Family’s Journey of Love and Growth

Brandon and his mom. | photos by Javi Malave, creative content developer at Emmaus Homes.

by MacKenzie Barber, development manager, Emmaus Homes. Reprinted with permission.

Life is a journey filled with transitions, challenges, and triumphs. That fact is played out in CHHSM agencies every day, including Emmaus Homes in St. Louis. For new resident Brandon and his family, one transition became a heartfelt chapter that embodies the essence of love, growth, and the pursuit of a better, more independent life.

The decision to move from his childhood home to Emmaus was not just a transition; it was an evolution, a story that encapsulates the beauty of independence and the embrace of community. Brandon’s story is not just about a move; it’s a tale of determination, mutual understanding, and a profound desire for a brighter future.

Brandon and his parents shared a common aspiration — to see him flourish in a setting that would invest in his needs and goals. Moving to Emmaus was a decision rooted in love, driven by the unwavering belief that Brandon deserved the best life possible.

The move to Emmaus, however, was not without its apprehensions. Like any devoted caregivers, Brandon’s parents carried a weight of concern. What would the future hold as they grew older or faced health challenges? How could they ensure Brandon’s well-being without passing on the responsibility to their other children? It was a complex decision that stemmed from a place of unconditional love.

Brandon’s move to Emmaus turned out to be a quick adjustment. The transition, once daunting, revealed itself to be a path with endless possibilities. He acclimated to his new environment effortlessly.

What’s remarkable about Brandon’s story is that, through Emmaus, he found a way to stay within the very community that had invested in him since childhood. The streets, the familiar faces, and the essence of his hometown still surrounded him, offering a sense of continuity in the midst of transformation. It wasn’t just about moving away but moving forward while holding onto a piece of home.

Brandon in his “man cave” at Emmaus.

Emmaus, to Brandon, is not just a place, but an avenue for exploration. It has opened doors to experiences he has always hoped for. The move granted him a space of his own, a “man cave” that has become his sanctuary. He embraces his passions within its walls — surfing the internet, dancing freely to his favorite music, and indulging in hours of the Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Cardinals, and St. Louis Blues. He finds himself happy in his own space.

For Brandon’s parents, the decision to entrust Emmaus with their son’s support became a bittersweet rush of emotions. The sense of relief was intense, knowing he was in capable hands. It wasn’t just about physical care, but about fostering his spirit and igniting his independence. With Emmaus, they found relief in knowing that Brandon’s journey was only beginning, and he was surrounded by those who believed in his potential and wanted to continue investing in him.

Brandon has only been with Emmaus for a short time, but in that time, he has developed a sense of belonging. He refers to his housemates and team members as a second family. The direct support professionals in Brandon’s life genuinely support his needs, wants, and desires. Brandon loves to be social, so the direct support professionals ensure that he has activities on his calendar!

Brandon’s story touches not only those directly involved, but echoes into the lives of many others. It stands as a testament to the courage of families navigating uncharted waters. Brandon’s journey shows that everyone can carve their space in the world with the right environment and people willing to invest in one another. His story captures the universal human desire for independence, belonging, and a life rich with purpose.

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Finding new staff members for leadership and ordained roles can be a difficult and long process, but CHHSM and the UCC have two free services to assist our organizations in those searches. As most people affiliated with CHHSM agencies know, each month, Diakonie publishes current opportunities that CHHSM members have sent in. But there is an even wider net open to all CHHSM agencies: the UCC Ministry Opportunities Listing. Learn more about both options. #BeAVoiceCHHSM www.chhsm.org/news/ucc-ministry-opportunities-listing-provides-additional-avenue-for-chhsm-agenci... ... See MoreSee Less
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