One of my favorite parts of my job is giving tours of our House. Last week, I gave a tour to a family from Louisville. Originally, I thought I would be joined by a husband and wife, but they pleasantly surprised me by bringing their six-year-old son. As he played shy violet with me, I asked mom and dad what brought them to our House; what their connection was to us. Six year ago, mom was pregnant and on vacation with dad. Unexpectedly, mom went into early labor and ended up giving birth in Kansas City. Because their son was born prematurely, they ended up staying longer than expected in Kansas City and found themselves on the doorstep of a Ronald McDonald House. Because of their experience in Kansas City, they wanted to contribute to our House and help other families who need a home away from home.
As we walked through our House, mom kept commenting on how nice everything was and how homey it felt. She admitted that she was in such a daze after her son was born. She said she was so focused on her baby – with feedings every three hours and traveling back and forth to the hospital with little to no sleep – she didn’t really get a chance to truly absorb what the Kansas City Ronald McDonald House had to offer. It was a perspective I had yet to hear from one of our families and it occurred on me that many of the mothers (and other family members) that stay with us may have the same experience.
They are just grateful for a meal and a place to put their head, even if it is for three-hour intervals.