Dear friends, As you know, many of you, our attempts to help Anna and Sassoon (two of our residents who have spent more times in clinics/institutions than in Warm Hearth Group Home) have been thwarted time and again. Many of you have given so much in an effort to bring them home. What has looked like the answer in the past has disappointed. We've tried to move forward, to bring them home, and time and again our footing has been precarious. And we have slipped and fallen. And they have suffered, still, in the institutions. As a last-ditch effort, Alya, our Armenian Director, came to the USA in July to see different group homes, in the hopes that we would learn some skills and be encouraged in regard to caring for residents like Anna and Sassoon with greater behavioral challenges. The trip was full – and we did learn a lot — all of us. But by the end, we were not sure if it would end up meaning a homecoming for Anna or Sassoon. It seemed like we were at a dead-end. And I wasn't sure there was any way to even back out of that place and look for another road. I reckoned with what it means when there is nothing more to be done — nothing more one can even imagine to do that would relieve the suffering of one's beloveds. What does grace even mean in those places? These were the questions I asked. I still ask them, because they are still unanswered for many people. But for Anna and Sassoon, there is more than a glimmer of hope. And it is not hard to see the grace in that.A couple weeks ago now, I asked Alya to consider bringing Anna and Sassoon home one more time. It was a question I had to ask -- but with open-hands -- because Warm Hearth has become more and more Armenia's. And in response, Alya proposed building a garden house in our backyard for Anna and Sassoon, consisting of two bedrooms and a bath. This garden house would be a place Anna and Sassoon could go when they were struggling to provide space and to protect them and our other residents. The board joyfully deliberated and has approved the decision to move forward. We are in the process of getting zoning approval to build this garden house and we hope to start construction in October so as to be done before the heavy-handedness of Armenian winter. I was (and still am) incredulous. It's taken awhile to sink in, to recover from the beautiful shock of being handed hope again. All the answers are not in place, nor will they ever be. We hope this works as a long-term solution for Anna and Sassoon. We hope this with all our hearts as we (and especially Anna & Sassoon) are turned around from that dead-end place and looking down a new road. With gratitude,Natalie (for us all)
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