As a parent you always want the best for your child. As a parent of an adult child with significant disabilities, you begin to understand their independence may look very different than children of your friends. You know your child will need support—lots of support. You want your child to be surrounded by people who care about him or her and who see the unique gifts each one of us has to contribute to the world. I was overjoyed to find a L’Arche community available for my son.
The philosophy of L’Arche founder, Jean Vanier, is so profoundly spiritual and inclusive, it inspires those who serve and who are served. “Our community life is beautiful and intense, a source of life for everyone. People with a disability experience a real transformation and discover confidence in themselves; they discover their capacity to make choices, and also find a certain liberty and above all their dignity as human beings.”—Jean Vanier. My son and I have formed friendships with other core members and with assistants. L’Arche Heartland is able to look beyond all the dis-function he may demonstrate and draw out his better qualities. They support his passions and encourage his abilities. And they help him manage all the challenges he faces, both within himself and in the world. As a parent, I would never have been able to pursue my career in another state if I had not known my son was a part of this community. I miss the activities of community night, special events and just everyday connections. At the end of the day, I am grateful my son is safe, supported and cared about. That is what every parent hopes for their child and L’Arche Heartland makes that possible for my adult child.
-Joy Wyler, parent of a Core Member