Ronnie’s Perfect Fit with a Family Home Provider

Ronnie’s Perfect Fit with a Family Home Provider

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A Family Home Provider Story

Meeting Ronnie is like discovering a treasure trove of warmth and joy. His infectious smile and welcoming demeanor instantly make you feel like you’ve known him for ages. Sarah Hensley, a former Cedar Lake Direct Support Professional (DSP), experienced this firsthand. She vividly recalls Ronnie’s eager greetings, his willingness to help with her belongings, and the genuine excitement he exuded whenever she arrived for work.

When Ronnie became a part of Cedar Lake in 2007, he found a home in one of the Cedar Lake staffed residences, receiving round-the-clock support. For Sarah, who spent a decade working at the same Cedar Lake residence where Ronnie lived, transitioning to becoming a Family Home Provider (FHP) was a natural progression. Choosing Ronnie to join her household through the Cedar Lake FHP program was an easy decision, as she had always envisioned expanding her family.

Since September 2021, Ronnie has been an integral part of the Hensley family. Despite now residing with Sarah and her husband, Matt, Ronnie maintains close connections with his cousins, Kim and Susan, who serve as his co-guardians. Together, they cherish traditions like celebrating Ronnie’s birthday and participating in family gatherings.

Sarah and Matt go above and beyond to preserve Ronnie’s favorite routines. Whether it’s their weekly Saturday visits to McDonald’s for Ronnie’s beloved Big Breakfast meal or Sunday outings to the bowling alley where Ronnie showcases his bowling prowess as a Special Olympics champion, the Hensleys ensure that Ronnie’s passions are honored.

Throughout the week, Ronnie engages in various activities, from socializing at Down Syndrome of Louisville and Cedar Lake Enrichment Center to indulging in his love for karaoke and classic tunes by the Oak Ridge Boys and Johnny Horton. His zest for life extends to playing basketball, relishing vintage game shows and The Price is Right, and spending time with his faithful canine companion, Winston the labradoodle.

In 2022, the Hensleys embarked on a memorable family vacation to Gatlinburg, where Ronnie reveled in visits to the Hollywood Stars Car Museum and Pigeon Forge’s Sunliner Diner. Sarah’s care has not only provided Ronnie with a nurturing environment but has also empowered him to advocate for himself and enhance his communication skills.

Ronnie’s magnetic personality has had a ripple effect, inspiring Matt to pursue certification as a Family Home Provider through Cedar Lake in 2024. As they eagerly anticipate welcoming another individual into their home, the Hensleys are committed to finding a perfect match—one who will undoubtedly forge a lasting friendship with Ronnie.

Ronnie’s journey with the Hensley family exemplifies the power of love, acceptance, and inclusion. Through shared experiences, cherished traditions, and unwavering support, Ronnie has not only found a loving home but has also enriched the lives of those around him, leaving an indelible mark of joy and camaraderie.