Recently, Sonshine welcomed Malia* and her family who moved to Alberta after fleeing her ex-partner and father of her children. Malia came to us with her 3-year-old, 16-month-old, awaiting the arrival of her third child in December.
With no natural supports in a new city, Sonshine staff worked with her to prepare for the birth and ensure she and her children were safe, cared for, and connected to the resources she needed.
Preparing for what to do with her young children when she goes into labour has been a very stressful journey for this young mother. Our staff worked hard to navigate the systems available to support in respite or emergency childcare services. Children’s Cottage is the only agency serving in situations like Malia’s, but because of high-demand, economic insecurity, and the ongoing prevalence of domestic violence in our community they could not guarantee Malia and her children a spot.
The team engaged the Sonshine Family Day Homes program, who are now actively securing evening and overnight care. Both children will be supported by the Sonshine Children’s Centre during the day, where our trauma-informed staff will be able to provide dedicated care, compassion, and understanding.
Because of the tenacity and commitment of staff, and the unique continuum of children’s programming available through Sonshine, Malia now has support in navigating systems and establishing plans for childcare.
As she progresses through the last 6 weeks of her pregnancy, Malia has the knowledge and confidence that she has a network of caring individuals who are committed to ensuring she and her soon-to-be three children will be safe and warm this holiday season.
Malia’s new baby will be born into an environment that is free of violence, and the family will be able to build a new life together and experience the joy, calm, and love the holiday season brings.
This past year, we’ve welcomed 3 babies born to women in the Sonshine Centre, and we’re all excitedly anticipating baby number 4 in December and 5 in January!
While it’s wonderful to celebrate new life in the Sonshine Centre, we’re also reminded that in this Advent season of waiting, these courageous women are waiting for healing, for hope, for stability.
In this season of waiting, we walk with them.
*names have been changed to protect client confidentiality