The couple take in young girls who have babies and want to improve their lives.
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
VIENNA -- Lynn and Liz Hawley's family just keeps on growing.
The Warren-Sharon Road couple credit God for blessings that have made it possible for them to raise five children of their own and take in young girls who have no where else to turn.
The Hawleys own Hawley Landscaping, also on Warren-Sharon Road, and operate Abundant Blessings Inc., a nonprofit organization that does missionary work and cares for young girls and women who have babies and want to do something positive with their lives.
The couple's home has three bedrooms and a bathroom for the girls and usually accommodates one or two girls at one time.
Some stay only a short time; others have stayed up to a year.
Regardless, they all become daughters and a part of the extended family, Lynn Hawley said.
He added that his wife, Liz, 55, is a "homemaker personified," and an excellent cook and seamstress.
Blessings: It's God's blessing that allows Lynn, 58, and his wife to afford to care for the girls, he said, explaining, "God just provides."
Donations of clothing and furniture has helped, he said, and the family's church, Believer's Christian Fellowship of Warren, has also provided support.
Many of the girls are referred to the Hawleys by New Life Maternity Home in Vienna, which cares for pregnant women but is not licensed to house infants.
The Hawleys say it's not easy to rid the girls of lifelong habits that may not support the health and well-being of themselves and their children.
They often come to the family from the streets, with low self-esteem and no aspirations.
"They don't know how to dream," Lynn Hawley said. "No one ever taught them how."
Plans for future: When the girls leave the Hawley's care, they do so with the knowledge to care for themselves and their children and a plan for the future, whether it be school or work.
"All the gals have improved their lives like you wouldn't believe," he said.
And to make that possible, the couple say, they provide the necessary moral and spiritual support and encouragement.
In the last four years, Lynn Hawley estimates the couple has cared for 10 girls on a short-term basis and 10 long term.
At least one dropped in for Thanksgiving dinner, Lynn Hawley said.
"She's still our daughter and she's making a life for herself."