Francis was a happy, typically-developing baby until the age of 2 years old when she had a coma-inducing seizure that robbed her of her capability to walk and talk. When Francis came out of the coma, she began relearning everything she had lost but never regained her ability to speak. At age 7, Francis’ family placed her at the Central Virginia Training Center because they were unable to meet the extended care that Francis needed. When she turned 9 years old, Francis was transferred to Petersburg Training Center and remained there until age 52 when she met the Brumfields.
Micki Brumfield and her husband, Chris, have been sponsored residential providers with DePaul since 2011 when they opened their home to a young lady named Donna. As a part of Micki’s dental hygiene school education, she cleaned teeth at a center where individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities worked and began forming relationships there. “I started trading my rotations with classmates just so I could keep working with the individuals,” said Micki of her experience in hygiene school. “I couldn’t explain it. I loved it and knew that one day I would have someone with disabilities in my home.” Micki carried this intention with her for most of her life so when she and Chris were approached about opening their home again to Francis, they knew it was the right path for them. After meeting Francis at the training center and hosting her for a trial weekend, there was no question that Francis belonged with their family.
It’s been 7 years since the Brumfields brought Francis home with them to stay and she has blossomed in the nurturing environment that surrounds her. Despite being nonverbal, Francis communicates effectively with the Brumfields, resting her head on their shoulders to convey appreciation, or responding to speech with gestures and verbalizations. Micki shared that in the training center, Francis had her meals delivered on a tray and ate at cafeteria setting. Now Francis has the opportunity to be curious in the kitchen and Micki enlists her help in holding bowls and stirring things. This is just one of many examples of Francis’ flourishing independence and curiosity while in the Brumfield residence. “The best thing has been the progress you see someone make toward their own independence,” Micki said of her work as a sponsored residential provider.
“I’m here to empower people to see their own individuality, life, and journey. It’s not my choice. DePaul teaches us that.” — Micki Brumfield
Opening your home to a child or an adult with a developmental and/or intellectual disability allows them to experience everyday life as an active part of your family and gives them the chance to find hope and belonging. To learn more about becoming a sponsored residential provider, call us at 888-233-7285 or fill out the form below. Someone will respond to you as soon as possible.