During this week when we honor motherhood, we also want to honor and thank those who treat the care of vulnerable young moms and their babies as a sacred trust. At the Annual Oregon Knights of Columbus Convention in April, Catholic Community Services presented certificates of appreciation to Knights councils from all over the state for their support of Father Taaffe Homes and Pregnancy Support Services.
Thanks to the loyal support from the Knights of Columbus, Father Taaffe moms like Vanessa are able to have a safe, stable, nurturing home to plan for their future, and the future of their babies.
At the convention, CCS Executive Director Jim Seymour shared Vanessa’s story. Vanessa is a young mom who came to live in Father Taaffe’s St. Brigid home pregnant, alone and scared. Her traditional Cambodian parents felt so upset and disrespected by their 17-year old daughter who was pregnant out of wedlock that they were unable to accept her in their home.
St. Brigid Home provided a safe, nurturing place for Vanessa to stay for the rest of her pregnancy. With the help of donors, the Father Taaffe Homes Program was able to supply not only food and shelter, but also parenting skills training and planning for future self-sufficiency. Audrey and Tyler Hanke, the house parents, were there for Vanessa every step of the way, and Audrey helped her through birthing her healthy baby boy, Mylo.
“I learned that I can actually be a good mom,” said Vanessa. “They made me feel like I can raise a child.”
Babies have a way of changing everything. Vanessa is now reunited with her family and they love Mylo. She is working, and she and Mylo live on their own. Her goal is to graduate college and continue to provide a safe home where Mylo will thrive.