People find their passion through a variety of avenues – from sports and travel to career goals and volunteering. The McGarrity’s found theirs through what many might agree matters most: family. In addition to raising their eight children, Sonia and Jeff McGarrity work as certified nursing assistants to provide home care for three of their eight kiddos.
Welcome to the family
Thirteen years ago, the McGarrity family changed for the best when they welcomed their third son, Jeffrey, into the world. Jeffrey led Sonia and Jeff to discover their love of providing in-home care to their son with Down Syndrome. Sonia didn’t necessarily know she would have the opportunity to raise more children, but since having Jeffrey, they adopted three children with special needs – daughters Cecilia, Rose Marie (Rosie) and Charlotte.
Sonia started her career as a CNA in 2016 after she and Jeff adopted their daughter, Rosie, through the National Down Adoption Syndrome Network. Sonia knew that in order to make sure her children had continuous support and care she would need to work from home full time while her husband continued his music career and cared for Jeffrey in the evening.
“It’s a blessing to be able to care for your children and still be able to work,” said Sonia. “Because multiple children of ours need full-time care, it’s not really possible for both Jeff and I to work outside of the home. I never quite imagined this would be our reality but providing for my family while still making sure they’re living their lives to the best of their ability is amazing. We were made for this and I wouldn’t change a thing.”
The McGarrity Adventures
The entire family loves spending time together and one of their favorite ways to spend that time is hiking and camping in different national parks across the country. They recently took a trip to visit a number of unexplored national parks – something the whole family can agree is a fun adventure.
“Next summer we will be on the road again to visit Yosemite for the first time,” said Sonia. “All Jeff and I want to do is provide our children with incredible experiences.”
In addition to the outdoors, the McGarrity family has a passion for music. As part of their faith-based community, all of the kids perform in local musicals or play an instrument. Music has become a cornerstone of their family and lucky for them their dad is quite the musician.
“With all of the musicians in our family, we could form our own small orchestra,” joked Sonia. “In addition to being Jeffrey’s CNA, my husband Jeff is a musician and the kids have definitely inherited his talent. We have a violinist, cellist, pianist, violist, as well as a few singers in the family. When the kids are performing, they are most themselves.”
Parents like Sonia and Jeff help make the world a little bit softer, a little bit lighter and a lot more loving.
“It’s a proud and almost unexplainable feeling to be able to raise your family in the way that we do,” said Sonia. “It has been an incredible, beautiful learning experience and through it all we’ve had to overcome the worry of what other people think. I am able to say I know I am giving my children the best life possible and what some see as differences in our kids, I see as originality.”
A big “thanks” to the McGarrity family for sharing their story. We can’t wait to hear about your upcoming adventures together. To learn more about becoming an in-home CNA, visit MGAAcademy.com or read our other blog posts.