At age 13, Happy is the youngest girl at Bethany House, a Back2Back Hope House. When she first arrived, Ruth, the House Parent, noticed how much the little girl would eat.
“At meal time she was always eating much more than she actually needed,” recalls Ruth. “If the other children had leftovers, Happy would eat them, regardless if she was still hungry.”
Ruth Sunday and her husband, Michael, slowly realized Happy had spent a lifetime not sure where her next meal would come from, and, because this was her only experience, she overate to avoid hunger pangs later in the day. They adjusted their correction over her volume to a more nurturing approach, reassuring Happy there would always be enough food for her.
The longer Happy lives in the house, growing in her understanding of what it means to have food available, the more she realizes her needs will be met. She is beginning to eat in order to fuel her body and mind, instead of overeating.
As she becomes more comfortable with Ruth and Michael, and with the rest of the girls at Bethany House, Happy is revealing her personality to those around her. Whether it is talking to Michael about her day at school or offering to sing a song or teach Ruth a new dance, Happy is feeling the hope that comes from living in a loving, stable environment.