By Sarah Domangue, future Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls homeowner
My son Jaiden and I were recently chosen to partner with Habitat for Humanity and we couldn't be more thrilled! We applied in January of 2012 and were notified in August of 2012 that we were one of nine families accepted to partner out of 100+ applicants. I am a full-time student, part-time employee and full-time mom of a child with special needs. My son has cerebral palsy; he was diagnosed at 4 months gestation as having a brain abnormality. He is a very intelligent little boy who has physical and cognitive challenges from his disability.
Although he has been given a different deck to play with than most of us, Jaiden is the happiest 5 1/2 year-old you will ever meet, always excited and smiling. Very seldom does he ever complain or fuss. He started kindergarten this year in a typical public elementary school and is enjoying every day being with his friends, learning and growing emotionally and socially.
Jaiden and I have been living in apartments since he was 2 and we moved out of my mother's home. We needed more space to grow, as well as independence to bond as a mother and child do. Apartment living is crowded — cozy, but unfortunately not ideal. As Jaiden has grown, we are no longer able to get his wheelchair around our home, nor can we bring in the specialized equipment he needs for therapeutic purposes.
We are very much looking forward to learning and growing emotionally, socially and humbly through the Habitat for Humanity program. I am currently taking education classes through my local Habitat office and community classes regarding homeownership. These are very useful and are really helping me to understand all of the different facets of homeownership and what to look forward to!
Jaiden and I have been given the chance of a lifetime — to own a home that is fully accessible to my son, so that he can live a life that is comfortable and optimal for his needs. We can't thank Habitat for Humanity enough for truly changing our lives and opening the doors to opportunities we just don't have the financial platform to fulfill on our own.