Watch this incredible story of a former resident at St. John's Home Campus. It is amazing that, in the space of four minutes, this remarkable young woman can so eloquently spell out our philosophy—that kids need to be loved, that when kids feel loved they will live up to the expectations of those who love them so expect great things!
Below are some real stories of real people who have been impacted by the residential treatment services at D.A. Blodgett - St. John's. Please read how we are making a big difference in their lives.
Hi, my name is Linda, and this is my story:
When I was a little girl, I often asked myself, “Why me?” Why did I have parents who fought all the time? Why did they love alcohol more than me? Why was I scared all the time?
Then one day something happened. Instead of taking me with them when they went to the bar, they left me at home. One of our neighbors called the police. I was removed from my home and went to live at St. John’s Home.
When I arrived there in 1953, I was scared, not knowing what to expect. One of the first people I met with Sister Leo. She ran the kitchen and welcomed me with a warm cookie right out of the oven. And she told me that my birthday was the feast day of Saint Dominic, the founder of her order. I didn’t know what that meant, but it made me feel so special.
I remember my first morning as if it were yesterday. I was woken up by voices which sounded like angels. I wondered if I had gone to heaven. I slipped from my bed and followed the beautiful voices. As I snuck into the balcony of the chapel, I realized that it was the singing of the Dominican Sisters for their morning prayers.
I stayed at St. John’s Home for four years. Sadly, my parents never changed—they literally drank themselves to death. But I moved on. I moved into a foster home where I lived until attending nursing school. Not long after school, I met and married a great guy. We’re still married and have two wonderful sons and two beautiful granddaughters.
I recently retired as a nurse but still volunteer at a local clinic doing blood sugar and blood pressure checks for seniors in the Cadillac area where we live. I also take care of my 92 year old foster mother. Despite a rough start, I’ve had a wonderful life. It’s funny, when I look at how well things have turned out, I ask myself the same question I did as a little girl: Why me?
The only answer I can come up with is that God decided to put me into the care of those wonderful women when I needed them most.
Hi, my name is Melody, and this is my story:
After years of emotional and physical abuse by my adoptive family, I came to St. John’s Home in 1988. Instead of my parents taking responsibility for what they had done, they blamed me. Somehow, I was the problem in the family, not them. After hearing this all my life, I came to believe this as well. I was sure that I was going nowhere with my life. So I behaved accordingly. My parents told the folks at St. John’s Home to prepare me to live in a group home for the rest of my life.
Thank God that the people at St. John’s Home didn’t believe it! I remember acting up and having long discussions with Jackie, Jim and Meg (three of my favorite people at the Home) who told me that same thing over and over again: Don’t buy into this lie. You can be whatever you decide to be. It’s your choice.
Boy, did I test that them! I tried desperately to prove them wrong. But they never gave up on me. One day, after being picked up while I was AWOL, the police officer asked me why I wasn’t taking advantage of the help which was offered to me. For some reason, that day I decided to give it a try.
I started to really believe that I could change with the help of my friends at St. John’s Home. They literally became my new parents. I even took them up on the offer to pay for my college education. However, I decided to get a different kind of higher education. I entered the Police Academy.
It was not easy. Half way through my training, I was severely injured and told by my instructors that my career as a police officer was over. I decided they were wrong. I finished my training and I am now a police officer working at Drexel University in Pennsylvania. Part of my job at Drexel is teaching young women how to stand up for themselves. I also work as an Emergency Medical Technician and have saved a number of lives.
Not bad for someone who was going nowhere!
My name is Andy and this is my story:
When I came to St. John’s, I was scared and nervous. My family fought a lot and I was scared that this new home would be the same. Then I met Ms. Jill and Mr. Eddie. They told me about all of the fun things I could do at Clancy House and showed me my new room. My new room had pictures of tornadoes and dinosaurs on the walls; my two favorite things.
Sometimes, Ms. Jill and I go for walks in the woods around St. John’s and Mr. Eddie pushes me on the tire swing at the new playground. Sometimes, we just hang out in the house and that’s fun too. My favorite thing is when I get to see Ms. Amanda. She taught me how to play piano and I even showed all of the other kids a song I learned at the St. John’s talent show. I was nervous, but Ms. Amanda was right there to help me when I got stuck.
I was really sad a few months ago. I missed being around a family and brothers and sisters. Ms. Jill told me about something that sounded pretty cool. She told me about how I could get a Big Brother. That’s when I met my Big Brother Justin. We have lots of fun together. Justin isn’t my real big brother, but I love him just the same. My favorite thing to do with Justin is to go over to his house and watch the Discovery Channel. We watch this show called “Storm Chasers.” I love spending time with him and I even get to hold his new baby Peter!
I like spending time with my brother Justin and my friends at Clancy House. I don’t feel so scared anymore.
Andy is currently waiting for a forever family to open their hearts and home to him. He says that , “I want to have a family who will take care of me when I am sick or if I wake in the night with a bad dream.” To find more information about Andy, or other children currently waiting for adoption, click here.