Robin Moore greets us at the front door with three young boys standing nearby. “Anna!” she calls out, grabbing her friend and hugging her around the neck. “It’s been so long since I’ve seen you.”
The boys run off to play as she leads Anna Rodriguez, director of Buckner Family Place in Midland, and the rest of us inside. We sit down on the couch beneath a black and white photo gallery of Robin and the boys, marked with the word “FAMILY.” It’s a visual narrative of her life.
Moore, 34, is a young mom with a bubbly laugh. She begins to share her story with some reserve as she tells us she hasn’t always considered her life to be idealistic. As a divorced, single mom raising two young boys with another one on the way, she was forced to drop out of Midland College in 2002 to keep her life in order.
“I was financially, spiritually and physically at the very bottom. I couldn’t get any lower,” she remembers.
“But the time I spent at Family Place was life changing for me. It was the start of being able to take care of my family and be a mom like I was supposed to be.”
Moore was the first resident to move into Family Place in Midland. Rodriguez remembers when Moore first walked up to see her new apartment.
“We were decorating the place for her and moving in new furniture. We wanted to surprise her. But when we were putting it all together, we looked up and saw her standing at the door. She looked really disappointed. She asked me, ‘Anna, did you give my apartment away?’ I looked at her and said, “I’m so sorry (teasing) … welcome home!’ She was shocked. It was a wonderful surprise.”
Today Moore works as the supervisor of the mammography clinic at Midland Hospital. Her sons – Blake, 13; Jordan, 11; and Brenson, 6 – all attend school and participate in extracurricular activities. They live in a nice Midland neighborhood and recently took their first family vacation to South Padre Island in Texas.
“I’m not by any means wealthy,” she says, “but I’m at a point where I can take care of my children without being stressed about having to feed them. I’m three months away from paying off all my debt. I’ve rented this house since I moved out of Family Place in 2005 and it’s allowed me to do that.”
Most people in Moore’s life today would be shocked to know the person she used to be, she says.
“The victim persona is something I’ve tried to get away from for a long time. It was only four years ago but it seems like a lifetime.”
Moore says she relies on the support of family and friends, and her church, to get her through the rough times. And to remind her of where she’s been.
“The main thing I’ve had to learn, and it’s so important, is that God is your only provision. No man, no type of assistance is going to satisfy you or fulfill you. That’s a hard lesson to learn.”
Moore is still single and focuses her time on caring for her children, working and sharing life with her extended family. She says she’s OK being alone. “I obviously haven’t made very good choices in the past, so I’m done picking,” she says with a laugh.
“I don’t even think I can begin to express my gratitude for living at Family Place,” she continues.
“God put people in my life to help me and bring me back up. And I learned along the way that I have inner strength. My God is there for me – He can do anything. He already has! I didn’t know that for a long time, but now I do.”
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