My Experience at Hope Home

Written by Katie, a volunteer from the World Race “Wildflowers” team.

Our team has been serving at Hope Home over the past two weeks and would love to share what we’ve experienced with this community. Each day is a unique adventure that at first felt a bit chaotic. I was overwhelmed with the needs of the children and the fact that the staff shares the responsibilities of parents, teachers, care-givers, handy-men, pastors, siblings and friends. “How could it all get done?” I wondered. I soon learned.


We arrived at the beginning of the month and didn’t know what to expect about what our time would look like here. When we arrived at Hope Home and I immediately felt a peace that I couldn’t explain. The first thing we saw were the jungle-gyms, sandboxes, bikes and all sorts of toys out and ready to be played with. The clotheslines were full of linens and children’s clothes, and I got a glimpse of the kitchen area before we walked inside the main door. I have been working with kids for over ten years and I know that creating and sustaining a peaceful yet playful environment is not an easy feat. From the moment we got here we have seen no less than extraordinary and sacrificial service by the staff for these children. Each day is structured and interactions with the kids are intentional and specific. While each child here has a very unique story and different challenges, I see how the Lord is taking great care of each of them. Garfield is able to use his feet to type on a tablet in order to communicate his thoughts. Yindee has a Princess Elsa toy fashioned so that it can be controlled by her head movements. Tadpole and LeLe make great use of the animal mural that doubles as a life-size vertical puzzle. Kame is an excellent student in the afternoon classes whose eyes opened wide as they showed her a picture of the human brain during a science lesson.

The challenges Hope Home faces each day are complicated and vast but are met with creative furtiveness and pure love. One of our tasks this month is to read or sing to the kids during their individual physio therapy in the morning. I have greatly enjoyed it and was just so overwhelmed with the staff’s prioritizing making that somewhat difficult time more enjoyable for each kid, and making sure that each book or song was tailored to that child’s interests (Superheroes for Garfield, princesses for Yindee, the Beatles for Dontrii).


We have about another week of service left here at Hope Home before leave Thailand. While our time here is relatively short, I am walking away from this experience with a grander and wider understanding of what it truly looks like to love your neighbor as yourself. Thank you Hope Home for all that you do for these children and the Lord!


KIS Students Serve Hope Home

Recently, we at Hope Home were blessed to receive a team of secondary students and their teachers from KIS International School in Bangkok through the Traidhos Visiting Schools Program. The students organized an incredible three days of service and interaction with our home and our children. The students more than quadrupled our number for their time with us and brought not only their strength and skills but also their integrity and presence.


Students from KIS served our home by completing a number of needed home maintenance tasks such a painting the exterior wall to our home and creating storage space for all the shoes and bicycles that come with a large household such as ours! The students, however, did not stop at the minimum but exceeded our expectations by designing and implementing a beautiful mural and executing a total revamp of the garden area. Now not only is our garden accessible and colorful, but it also has plants in it!

While all of the projects were such a blessing to our home as we do not have the time to meet all of our home’s repair and beautification needs, the students also engaged with our children and family extremely well. Students had prepared music, arts, and sports activities for each day and rallied our kids together to have a great time learning and enjoying together. Students from KIS were also able to help our students go on multiple walks and bike rides around the village, a special treat to “adventure with the big kids!”

The beautiful mural, new furniture, and fresh coat of paint made a huge impact on our home. However, it is the heart and the relationships formed between students, teachers, and our children which has left the greatest impact. We are incredibly thankful for the support of KIS and the time you spent with us giving of yourselves to each of our kids!

Renovations Part 2: Mr. Tile & Mrs. Grout

In November we showed you the beginning of the incredible renovation work Tony & Joy did for Hope Home. The amazing ocean bathrooms are a delight to the children and have launched imaginative play both during and after shower times, shouts of “thalee, thalee” and “plaaa” (translation: ocean, ocean and fish) are heard quite frequently in our house and the kids have really taken to swimming in the ocean just about anywhere, anytime.

IMG_5389 copy

Some of their other projects included revamping their prior work for the new house, particularly the JUMBO Noah’s Ark puzzle! We were also able to get vinyl made from photographs of the children’s old bedroom which were then placed in frames for their current bedroom!

Most of their time this trip was spent not as Tony and Joy but as Mr. Tile and Mrs. Grout! If it didn’t move, it was tiled! The main room not only got the gaps filled in between the walls and the roof but also tiled and painted the walls. We are so grateful for this now very easy to clean room! Plus it looks incredible too! Another great improvement our tile experts were able to do was to level and ramp the flooring between the addition and the main room so that it is now totally accessible for wheelchairs, walkers, strollers, and the occasional mischievous bicycle.

The kitchen and washing up area also got a complete tile makeover! In the kitchen they did an incredible job transforming our cement cooking surfaces, walls, and tables into surfaces that are not only beautiful but sanitary too! In addition, they streamlined our washing up area for dishes as well as the laundry area! Of course a full tile job was the first task for Mr. Tile and Mrs. Grout, a task much more easily said than done! This particular area required the removal of a tree stump as well as leveling and ramping of surfaces!

Fear not! Our tiling superheroes were still able to do a few more artistic projects as well. Superhero Way is a BIG hit with all kids of all ages but especially the big kids. We really enjoy the superhero inspiration during physiotherapy and school times!

Our living room was also adorned with a verse very close to our hearts and mission. “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love always hopes…Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8


We are so very incredibly grateful for the blessing of Mr. Tile & Mrs. Grout….but even more so the blessing of Tony and Joy who not only adorned our house but also our lives with their grace and presence! We enjoyed every second and cannot say thank you enough. We cannot wait for their next visit!




GoAbroad Foundation + Hope Home = Sensory Room

At Hope Home we serve children with a wide variety of special needs, and part of our goal is to provide the best quality care possible to each child in order to empower them to their full potential. In the transitions and movements of the past year and a half as we’ve settled into our new home one of the areas we have wanted to address is the various sensory needs of our children. Children with autism, sensory integration issues, hyperactivity, cerebral palsy, or children who have experienced trauma can benefit from proper sensory therapy. We have tried to provide sensory stimulation within our normal context, but have always desired to be able to provide a sensory room.

When GoAbroad Foundation contacted us with a desire to help make a dream project a reality, we knew this was the project. The GoAbroad Foundation’s #GivingTuesday campaign this year is dedicated to providing the necessary resources for creating a therapeutic sensory room at Hope Home. Our extensive research, staff and volunteer support, and the assistance of the Art Relief International expertise will serve in planning and creation of the sensory room. The room would be utilized to provide sensory breaks for children with autism whenever they are over-stimulated, it would also be used as a dedicated therapy environment for children with all types of disabilities. Independent living skills are important to us, and we work to help each of our kids develop the skills they need to care for themselves to the best of their abilities. We are very grateful to the GoAbroad Foundation for helping us reach the dream of creating a space to help our children learn to be independent in self-regulation and meeting their sensory needs as well!

FB Post


Renovation Part 1 – Under the Sea

Tony and Joy became famous during and after their time with us in 2015. The bedroom mural was a huge attraction for all visitors, and the kids simply never got tired of it! When we had to move to our new house in late 2016, we were devastated to leave the incredible artwork behind. While photos were taken and memories held tight, we missed it. Before they left in 2015 we took them up on their promise to return again, and as we’ve adjusted to our new house we have repeatedly said “Just wait until Tony and Joy get here.” In mid-September it was finally time to stop waiting and they arrived! Within days they were already hard at work!! We are incredibly grateful for their expertise as DIY-ers, their artwork, and most importantly their presence. While the paintings are beautiful, the house an entirely new and amazing place, they will be very much missed in the coming weeks as the leave.

For now though, we want to take you on a quick look into how they are making our house absolutely beautiful! The children and staff adore the artwork and the work they have put into making our house fresh, pretty, hygienic, and easy to clean! The first stop on our tour will be….the bathrooms.

Hardworking is an understatement with these two and prior to even beginning the painting they tiled the walls waist high to protect the walls from water damage, did an important repair on a door that had too much water damage, sealed the doors for the future and then….


The final product of course, is far too amazing to even describe. For now, we will give you a glance at just the artwork, fear not though as a full unveiling is yet to come! Let’s just say that toilet training is certain to go much more smoothly now that the kids cannot wait to get to the bathroom!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Hello (Again)

It certainly has been quite awhile since we have updated our website. Between medical issues, new schooling schedules, administration, and the day-to-day care of our children we have been very busy! We, however, have not forgotten the great community of people that continue to support, encourage, and advocate for and with us! We are extremely grateful for everything you do, for your words of encouragement in these busy months, and understanding as our website production went down! We hope over these next few weeks to catch up on some of the exciting things that have been happening in our home! Here are some of the highlights.

Thai Mother’s Day in honor of Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday was in August, we were treated by the local Duke’s restaurant to a “pizza party” in honor. We are very grateful for the nomination by our lovely neighbors and all the kids very much enjoyed the food, especially Little Guy and LeLe!

Yindee and Tadpole both amazed everyone with their strength in adversity as they recovered from serious medical challenges, Yindee’s stemming from her underlying medical conditions and Tadpole from an accident at his school.

We want to give a huge HUGE thank you to Nicola for her amazing support while we were running between hospital ICUs for a month. We are very grateful that God planned her time with us right when we needed it and she jumped right in and kept all the kids happy and very healthy. Not only that but she became great friends and a wonderful support to all of our staff as well. She is a blessing to all of us. THANK YOU.

Both kids made it home just in time to celebrate the birthdays of our September kiddos! Wentaa, Dontrii, Garfield, and Little Guy all had birthdays in September so we held one celebration that was very much enjoyed by all.

The DIY crew of Tony and Joy have returned to Chiang Mai and blessed us with an amazing transformation of our home! We loved our new house before but now….wow. Well that deserves a post of its own and we cannot wait to show you!


Again, we apologize for the long gap and look forward to filling you in more about the life and times of our Hope Home family!



Volunteers at Hope Home

It’s that time of year again, the time of coming and going in Chiang Mai! Many new people coming in and many people leaving this beautiful city. In order to protect the children and to encourage healthy attachment we are quite particular about the types of short-term visits we approve at our home. Our utmost priority is to make sure the children feel safe, accepted, loved, and secure in a family environment. Sometimes that means we can’t accept visitors or volunteers, but we do love the opportunity to accept high quality, passionate, and skilled individuals who are willing to dedicate a substantial amount of their time to invest and empower our children.

This time of year we find ourselves quite often having to say “goodbye” to people we have come to cherish and enjoy. Sometimes it’s just for a little bit as with two of the families who serve as continual friends and support to our family who have gone off to their respective countries for the summer months. Sometimes though, it’s a little longer of a goodbye.

We were extra excited recently to have Grandad and Grandmum Cook from England along with their friend Hillarie to come and visit for a few weeks. As the Grandad and Grandmum of Hope Home we enjoy all of their skype calls, gifts, and love from afar; but most of all we love the special time we get to spend together in person!

Over the past six months we have been so blessed to have long time friends of Hope Home, Mike and Ellen (and their family), coming and sharing their expertise with us. Ellen as an Educational Psychologist helped brainstorm, advise, and enact new therapies and approaches for many of our children! Mike, an accountant, bravely took on the task of helping us to streamline and clarify our accounting. He is leaving behind an easy to use and quick system which will save so much time each month! We also got to join in on their family events which was oh so very special for our kids, it was a real treat for them to be invited to a birthday party for a friend! We were very sorry to say “goodbye for now” but are so glad we will continue to stay connected.


This week we will also say goodbye to our now good friend Marguerite. As an experienced nurse and expert administrator too, she utilized a sabbatical period to come and share her time, experience, and care with us. She has served an irreplaceable role in helping provide that 1-on-1 specialized care for our more medically fragile children, cooking incredible meals which everyone ate quite quickly, organizing and sanitizing the medical room, teaching some fun cooking activities, and so much more. We are so grateful that she sacrificed time with her family to join ours for a few months and wish her many blessings and joy as she goes back to her family and work back in the UK.


Right now, we are also enjoying two volunteers/interns from our connections with CCT. Ryan and Kenna are both university students in the U.S. majoring in pre-medicine and nursing respectively. Both have great experience in physical training/therapy and bring creative ideas to our physical therapy and education programmes. Thankfully, their time is not yet over so we still get to enjoy their energy and insight for the next month!

There are of course so many more volunteers we love spending time with, many of whom we don’t have to say goodbye to for quite awhile! We are so grateful for our volunteers, the way they add into our kids lives by sharing their expertise and experience, and the way they invest in each of us. Thank you to all those mentioned and not yet mentioned for sharing your experience, time, and self with us! We have a high priority on providing the highest possible quality care for our children, and we are very helpful for those near and far who help us achieve that goal a little better each and every day!