For Theresa and D.J. Rigdon, living at Calvary Home for Children may have saved the brother’s and sister’s lives.
In the summer of 2005, Theresa, D.J. and their older sister were living the nightmare that is the reality for many children in today’s world. Their parents were drug addicts who frequently abandoned the young siblings and left them to care for themselves and each other.
Eventually, the South Carolina Department of Social Services intervened and removed the children from their home. They arrived at Calvary Home in August, 2005. Theresa was 12 and her little brother, D.J., was three.
“We were scared when we got to Calvary Home because it wasn’t our home,” Theresa said. “But the house parents quickly made us feel at home and D.J. and I got to be together which was not possible at other places we had been.”
It’s obvious that “feeling at home” is important for children like Theresa who have lost their families through no fault of their own. “Calvary Home really made us feel like we were something,” she explained. “Other places made us feel like we were being punished because of what our parents did.” She said no one treated them that way at Calvary Home.
Theresa described her years here as both fun and life changing. She got to go to school, the beach, a formal dance, parties, and family outings. The kids had chores and had to clean every weekend, she laughingly explained, but there was a limit to those. And, she really enjoyed meeting other families and people who volunteered their time.
But she said the biggest impact Calvary Home had was a spiritual one. “I got saved when I was at Calvary Home,” Theresa said. “That made a really big change in my life. If I hadn’t been at Calvary Home, I wouldn’t have gotten saved or gotten in church or where I am in my life today.”
Today, Theresa is a well-adjusted, talkative teenager who recently turned 16-years-old. She and D.J. left Calvary Home in May, 2008 when they were adopted by their aunt and uncle, Tony and Cindy Rigdon. They now live in Greenville, South Carolina and have three other siblings.
Theresa will be a sophomore at Berea High School this fall and D.J. will be in the second grade.
Theresa said that in spite of the difficult circumstances that brought her here, she is very thankful for her time at Calvary Home and the impact everyone had on her life. “I don’t think we could have been in a better place than Calvary Home for Children.”