Their home helps them with half of the battle. The chaos of their individual lives is manageable when surrounded by the love and empathy that this family offers. Driving down the long roads filled with cracks and fallen branches, they anticipate the glow of their house seen through the dense forest trees. The sounds of wind chimes dance in the outdoor air. Ten pairs of shoes line the entrance of their home like a visual reminder of the lives that DJ has given her own for. The aroma of a wholesome, home-cooked meal wafts out of the kitchen. She has created a sanctuary. The trauma of their pasts are checked at the door.
The FuturePlay Video
"I was trying to feed them what I believed was best for me as a child. What I was longing for as a child, what I believed would heal my heart and made me feel safe and they didn't like it."
Serenity is allowing the mind to forget and the soul to be set free. The foundation of their home is set in healing. The trauma of their pasts are understood, which grants them the opportunity to build futures. DJ believes that by absorbing the narratives of each child she will be able to use what she learned from her own past to protect them from making the same mistakes that she made.
"I wanted to make an influence. I wanted them to be like 'she helped me so much' and I didn't know I wanted that, but I did," she said.
As time went on and the children got older DJ thought that everything would get easier, but that wasn't the case. Although many of the children grew to love their new home, life, and family with DJ some were trapped in the traumatic events that made up their childhood. Confronting their pasts allows them to overcome what has been forced upon them in life.