Although it’s been over five years since we moved out of Ronald McDonald House in New Haven, Connecticut, the House, the people, and the experience are never far from our minds.
In July of 2016, I was brought to Yale-New Haven Hospital via ambulance and our lives were changed forever. Our beloved baby was here, but very early and incredibly small (less than two pounds). We lived at Ronald McDonald House (then on George St) for nearly 3 months so we could be as close as possible to our little miracle girl. Every day in the NICU was filled with uncertainty and more emotions than I thought I could ever experience. But waiting for us when we returned “home” to RMH were the people who came to feel like family. The staff and volunteers always made sure the house felt warm and safe. There was always someone to talk with if you needed to deconstruct your day, or if you just needed to talk about anything BUT your day. The other guests were also on their own difficult journey, and often we’d congregate in the dining area at night, sharing a meal or a tasty treat at the end of an impossibly long day, another one sure to be soon on the horizon.
After nearly 3 months, our beautiful daughter, Jessie, came home.
Although we’d heard of Ronald McDonald House prior to our stay, we really had no idea of what actually goes on at one until we were in a position where we had to move in. We know now that we’ll be grateful to RMH for the rest of our lives and we’ll continue to raise awareness and support for this tremendous organization.
Although her entry into this world was rough, Jessie is now thriving. At 5 1/2, she’s loving, kind, funny, smart, and giving. She loves to sing, dance, read, and pretend. She’s in kindergarten and she loves school! Her favorite friends are her 3 cousins, and she just loves with her whole heart. We couldn’t have given ourselves the luxury of thinking this far into the future when we were at RMH. Now, we couldn’t imagine it any other way.
We all returned to New Haven this December to visit the Trees of Hope event at the Maritime Center and Jessie gasped with excitement over each of the nearly 150 Christmas trees. We are so very lucky that we get to experience this journey with her. And we will never forget the generosity of Ronald McDonald House.
Every day, families face the challenge of having a child in the hospital, and your generosity helps Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts keep them together. Learn more about our programs and join our community of supporters.