Growing up in Chiang Rai, a northern province in Thailand, life was not easy for Tad.
One of six children, her family lived in poverty. Tad struggled to understand why her parents did not love her as they loved her brothers. When she finished middle school, Tad wanted to continue to study, but her father said no. He wanted her to work to help support the family. She became a day laborer, getting work whenever possible. However, she still wanted to go to school. At one point, she ran away to go to a vocational school. However, she had to leave because her father would not give her any money for tuition.
Later, Tad found herself incarcerated in juvenile prison. While there, she learned that there was a place where she could live, work and be united with her 1-year old daughter who was living in a children’s home. Not having experienced the love of her parents growing up, Tad did not want that for her daughter. She wanted her daughter to know she was loved. She wanted a better life for her daughter and so they both moved to Connie’s home.
Connie’s Home is a foster care home for children from the local orphanage. These children are true orphans, meaning that their only option for long term care is adoption. Living at Connie’s Home, these kids are cared for in a home-like environment while they wait. As a staff member at Connie’s Home, Tad had a safe place for her and her daughter to live. Tad, then had the opportunity to develop job skills, life skills and finish her education.
Over the years at Connie’s Home, she has struggled. Life is easier, but she brought with her a lot of anger from her past. With the support of Connie and her husband as well as other volunteers, Tad began to grow and change. Today, Tad is a much calmer and happier person. While she still struggles with faith issues and is still learning about Christianity, those of us who work with her have seen real change in her attitude and her emotional well-being. She knows that there are people who love and care for her and her daughter.
Since coming to Connie’s Home, Tad has been able to go to baking school. She is in the process of finishing high school. She is growing in her English ability. Her daughter is getting a good education at a local Thai Christian school.
Connie’s home is expanding the ministry to include a training center with a coffee shop, hair salon and massage in the hopes of helping more young women like Tad. Holistic ministry, affecting people physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually is what Connie’s Home is about.
While Tad is unsure of what the future holds, she may be able to develop her skills and experience in baking at the new coffee shop, opening up new doors for her life. Whatever the future holds, she chooses each day to live the best that she can and be a good mom to her daughter.