“God is working in you while you work in the community. Sometimes you want things to move quickly- but God wants you to do something first,” says Habitat for Humanity home buyer Sonia Dudley.
Sonia is a graduate of the University of Louisville, program coordinator of senior living at Richmond Place, and mother of two high achieving young adults: Brittanie Dudley, a Northern Kentucky University graduate who currently works as a child welfare investigator and Chandler Dudley, a sophomore at Northern Kentucky University who is aiming for a career in athletic training.
“I put my kids first for many years and I am seeing the rewards. I am very proud of them,” Sonia beams. “As they got older though, I realized something was missing from my life and I knew I needed to make that a priority. I hadn’t been focusing on myself for a very long time.”
Sonia was seeing signs that God was taking her somewhere. She was unhappy in her marriage and knew she needed to make a change towards independence. Sonia kept seeing a Habitat for Humanity sign around town.
“I kept thinking, maybe I should call, why not?” Sonia remembers. “I was leaping into this whole new life. I made the best decision, which was to leave my husband and bring Chandler from Lexington to Winchester. We were in this transitional period and I was seeking my independence and my happiness- it was the right choice, but it was hard to make that change.” Habitat for Humanity became a catalyst for this change.
“My separation was not complete when I applied to Habitat for Humanity initially and you cannot be approved when you are in the process of a divorce. A home for me and my son was necessary for me to feel fully independent so I worked overtime in order to afford my divorce,” Sonia says. “My home will be a symbol of my independence. It will be mine- and I worked hard for it. It will mean freedom for me and my family.”
Sonia and Chandler love living in Winchester and are moved by the knowledge that volunteers and donors will build their house alongside them.
“I’m really glad we moved to Winchester,” Chandler says. “It was a more positive place for me to go to high school- more of a community.” “He really blossomed when we moved here,” Sonia adds.
For Sonia her Habitat house will be a testament to her strength and an asset for her family, something that as a now single woman, Sonia is especially proud to be able to provide. “You have to be strong to have patience and strong to have faith in yourself,” Sonia says. “When I called Habitat and told them my position and what I was going through, the first person who answered the phone [Wendy Metcalf] said ‘don’t get discouraged’ and I haven’t, and they were right.”