My mom recently emailed me:
I was wondering if there is any room in your blog to mention the Sleep Country foster toy drive? I posted it on Facebook as I am sure you noticed lol! Any suggestions to get this information out there more?
Yep. This one’s for you Mom.
My mom had me when she was just 15 years old–a baby herself. When you have a child that young and another shortly after, there are challenges. Teen parenting is not an easy road. But regardless of our situation, we had family. When we had no place to call our own, we had family. More than once we found ourselves living with my grandmother (which explains why I sobbed like a baby when she sold her house a few years ago; it was often my place of refuge). When we were evicted from our apartment with 24 hours notice, we had family. When we had a sudden death in our home and just couldn’t go back because the pain was too much, we had family.
Mandi recently posted a prompt on our Hometown Perch Facebook page “Fill in the blank….HOME IS:”. Home, to me, has always been wherever my mom is. Taking me away from her because we were a family in crisis would have devastated me. I consider myself incredibly lucky. No matter what, I had a family that I wouldn’t have traded for anything or anyone in the world.
This time of year I find myself thinking about children in foster care. I know that some foster children don’t have family contact. And those who still see their families-of-origin live in regular crisis. I’m not saying that foster families aren’t lovely. Many of them are incredible! And thank God for those who choose to give foster children a loving place of refuge. But deep down, we have a need to be loved, wanted and cared for by our family. And I can only imagine how hurtful it is when that need is unmet. There is no replacement for feeling unconditionally loved and wanted. That’s not to say that families who have children removed and placed in foster care don’t want their children because I know most of them do. I just don’t know that children in foster care feel that they belong or are wanted. And that breaks my heart.
My sister and I below–two happy girls. People who know the road I have traveled ask how I avoided becoming a statistic. The answer for me is simple. I never doubted my place in the world. Through it all, I felt loved and 110% wanted.
I have always appreciated that Sleep Country focuses on giving to foster children during the holidays. At times it’s been a coat drive. Other times it’s been a pajama drive. And this year it’s a toy drive. So, if you are looking to make the holidays brighter for a child in your hometown, consider donating a new toy (something your own kids would love) to your local Sleep Country store. You will make a difference in the life of that child. And there is no better way to celebrate the holidays than that.
Happy Holidays friends. And give your family big hugs tonight.
For those of you in Yakima, we have two Sleep Country locations:
1. Orchard 120 S. 72nd Ave. Ste 100 Yakima, WA 98908 Phone: 509-249-5797
2. Yakima 2107 S. 1st Street Yakima, WA 98903 Phone: 509-469-8550