"For us to finally achieve this milestone and in less than 24 hours kind of get a big slap in the face, it was very daunting."
That is what Jennifer Hammock said of how her family feels after waking up to find their new East Bay home vandalized with a profane message.
The Hammock family moved into their new home over the weekend in the unincorporated area of Rodeo in Contra Costa County.
"It makes me feel like some individuals don't believe we should be here or we are not welcome here in the city of Rodeo," said Darnell Hammock of the vandalism.
The Hammocks immediately painted over the writing to keep their three young children from seeing it. They said one neighbor speculated they may have been targeted because they removed an American flag that had been out front for 50 years.
"If a flag can cause someone to do something like this, that person defnitely needs some kind of healing in the inside," Darnell Hammock said.
U.S. & World
Whatever the motive, the Hammocks said they will not be scared away. Darnell Hammock is a pastor who preaches love and tolerance.
"I'm going to add to the value already here and be friendly with my neighbors and continue to live God and love people," Darnell Hammock said. "That's what we do. That's who we are."
Jennifer Hammock plans to memorialize the hateful act with something positive.
"I'm going to find some really pretty roses and plant roses right there because I don't know about you, but when I get roses I feel loved," she said.
The Hammocks do not believe the vandals represent the entire community. Neighbors have been stopping by to express their support. The family said they will plant their roots in the community and watch their children flourish.
"I think if all of us, all of humanity opens our hearts and not judge a book by its cover, we will be able to see how much we can really be blessed by each other," Jennifer Hammock said.