Aid to the Developmentally Disabled (ADD) and its staff are like a family to all residents, providing a home with friendships, caring and concern. Recently, we learned of a heartwarming story of one of our residents and his re-connection with family. We spoke with Melvina Carroll, the house manager at ADD’s Jamesport house.
John Daly moved into the Jamesport house in December of 1994 and has lived there ever since. John loves his home and his day program at AHRC’s Westhampton Beach Workshop. He considers the staff at his house his family, some who have been there for up to twenty years. He participates in advocacy group meetings and acting classes. John keeps himself busy.
John has always been close to his mother, Margaret, and would visit with her often, even when she moved to Florida. His mom was the only family involvement John ever had throughout his life. In February of 2017, the house received a call with the devastating news that Margaret Daly had passed away after being ill for some time. John accepted this news and handled it the best he could.
After Ms. Daly’s passing, the state began searching for any siblings or family that John may have. They found his father. Melvina, John’s house manager, composed a thoughtful email to John’s father and explained the situation. A reply arrived quickly and as it turns out, John’s dad was looking for him too. He reached out via phone soon after. John’s family, whom he had never met in his 54 years, could not wait to meet him and hopefully be a part of his life from this point forward.
John’s father resides in South Carolina, and his sister, Karen Wolf lives in New Jersey. On October 21, 2017, they had scheduled to meet his sister. Karen arrived on time at 12:15 that Saturday. She was bearing gifts and greeted warmly by Melvina. Then, John and his sister met. Although, he was shy at first, it took no time at all for them to become more comfortable. They spent quality time for the afternoon catching up and comparing their likes and dislikes. It was amazing how many things they have in common, such as collecting maps and taking acting classes. They were able to Face Time John’s father during the visit as well, which was joyful. There was a true connection with his sister and his dad.
Karen plans to visit once per month and will bring John’s niece and nephew back with her when she returns. This new family connection will continue. John and his ADD family are thrilled that he now has two families in his life.
To learn more about the ADD organization, residential housing, job opportunities and advocacy groups, browse our website or call 631-727-6220 ext. 203 with any questions.