2019 LifePath Family of the Year

Mary and Jim Hausman of Allentown to be honored as LifePath's 2019 Outstanding Family of the Year

The Vacancy sign was always on at the Hausman home

(August 22, 2019) Never in a million years did Mary and Jim Hausman of Allentown imagine their lives filled with so much love after learning they could not have biological children.

31 years ago, after Mary and Jim exhausted all medical avenues in trying to have children, they reached out to numerous foster and adoption agencies and learned about the scores of children that needed homes.

“There were pages and pages of children. And most had disabilities,” said Mary.

And that’s when Mary and Jim found Phillip. They first saw his picture in one of the books they were looking through. He was nine years old, had an intellectual disability and ADHD, and had already been in and out of numerous foster homes in his short little lifetime. But Mary and Jim fell in love and wholeheartedly embraced Phillip, and eventually adopted him as their own.

And that’s how it all started…

Shortly after Phillip’s transition into the Hausman’s home, Mary and Jim answered an agency call about a teenage mother AND her new baby boy, Jason, who needed foster care.  Mary and Jim couldn’t say no and took BOTH into their home. Soon the teenage mother relinquished her rights and left Jason to the care of Mary and Jim.

…and then they made it official and adopted Jason as their own - child #2.

At the same time as Jason’s foster and adoption, still another agency reached out to the Hausmans and told them of TWO MORE children who needed a home– brother and sister, Michael and Desiree.

…so Mary and Jim fostered then adopted child #3 and child #4 -- Michael and Desiree.

Mary and Jim raised their four children with love, patience and kindness. The hundreds of pictures that grace the walls and fill the albums in their home is a testament that love and care sheltered the four children throughout the years.

As the children were growing, the family was very involved in their community and church. Jim and the boys were members of the Boy Scouts. In fact, Jim, an eagle scout, was scout master of Troop #11 since 1978 and mentored many boys who also became eagle scouts, including his sons Phillip and Michael. 

All of the Hausman children were a part of the youth choir and served as acolytes at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Allentown, where Mary and Jim are Deacons.  Desiree even taught Sunday school with Mary and Jim, and the entire family helped with neighborhood clean-ups in Allentown.

“But the vacancy sign was always on,” said Jim as the family continued to answer the calls of agencies and took in more and more respite care and foster care children throughout the years. 

“We must have had 35 children in and out of our home,” said Mary. “Our children grew up with foster and respite children in our home,” she said.

One of those recent foster children, Nick, transitioned into a full time family member with the help of LifePath’s Life Sharing program. Life Sharing is a residential program where individuals with special needs are “matched” with local families and live with the families in their homes long-term. Individuals with special needs become fully engaged in that home environment and receive care, compassion, companionship and stability.

Through the guidance of Mary, Jim and LifePath, Nick is now mostly self-sufficient, able to cook and clean his clothes himself and works 20-30 hours per week.

…Nick became Hausman “child” #5.

…then five became six with Latoya who also needed a loving home.

…then six became seven when Jason married Shauna.

Today, after caring for nearly 35 children over the past 31 years, Mary and Jim continue to volunteer and stay extremely involved in their community.  In addition to both being deacons in their church, Mary and Jim are both very active at the Jefferson Elementary School Bank and the Grace Episcopal food bank where Jim is on the Board. Additionally, Jim and Mary both participate in Bike for World Hunger. But that’s not all. Jim continues to be active in scouting at Troop#11 and Mary is the task force leader for Sunday school at their church.

Jim and Mary Hausman live their lives selflessly and their generosity has helped make a change for so many people over the years.

“God put it on our hearts to do this,” said Mary.

“We wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Today, Mary and Jim enjoy their adult children and look forward to yet another addition as the family is about to grow again. Jason, now an officer in the United States Navy, and wife Shauna are expecting their first child.

 

PNC Bank and LifePath are proud to honor Jim and Mary with LifePath’s 2019 Outstanding Family of the Year award at the 2019 LifePath/PICPA Thanksgiving Benefit and Awards Luncheon held at the Homewood Suites in Center Valley on November 27th.  For tickets and information, please visit: http://www.lifepath.org/events/annual-luncheon

by Annette Kaiser