When the classroom trainings were completed, we began our in-cottage training. For two weeks we were in the cottage with another set of house parents, learning how all the stuff we learned in the classroom fleshes out in the cottage. I think for the past month, Jason and I have felt like our brains have turned to mush – there is just SO much to learn and remember! But everyone assures us it will be second nature soon enough.
In the midst of learning all this stuff, we’ve been blessed to get to know some pretty wonderful people. First, there are the boys in our cottage. I’ll tell you more about them later, but we love getting to know them and building relationships. Then, there are the people with whom we work. Our supervisor and his wife were the previous house parents in Miller Cottage. I honestly don’t know how we could make this transition without them. They have two little girls and a baby boy and our girls adore their kids! And they have really made us feel so welcome here. They are willing to answer any questions and are available at just about any time you need them. There are the relief house parents, another couple who just happens to be from Maine (how funny is that?!) They have gone out of their way to teach us and help us. And these people I’ve mentioned are representative of the rest of the staff here. Every single person here has been so welcoming, so helpful and so encouraging. One of the things that really impressed us on our interview here is that it’s an all-hands-on-deck operation. They ask you to come here with a teachable heart and a willingness to be flexible, but it works that way on both ends. If the ministry is short-staffed, everyone jumps in to help – all the way up to the director and his wife. No one just sits in an office all day and expects the cottage staff to work themselves to death. We saw the HR Director out working with the horses. We saw the director and his wife serving as house parents. Everyone is part of a team here, a family. And everyone is willing to do what needs to be done. This is one of the things that impressed us most about this place and we are so excited to be a part of that.