This evening, ThatManILove and I arrived at the house around the same time. We decided to take the Wonderdogs to the park.
Upon our arrival, I noticed a pit bull pup I met way back in August. She had grown so much. Her owner walked up, and we visited. I confirmed that the pup was indeed the same little bitty pup I’d seen in August. She is so sweet, and it was good to see her and her owner.
I had my camera with me, which caused the pup’s owner to ask me questions about it. She asked about pictures, and I told her some of my dog park pix were posted on my blog, and on the Midland Dog Park site. We introduced ourselves, and my last name stopped her in her tracks.
“Are you related to Sherry?”, she asked. “Yes,” I said, “She’s my sister-in-law.”
(I’ll stop there for a second, and give you some background. TMIL is one of 6 sons in his family, 5 of whom are living. Some 4 or 5 years ago, after one of our huge extended family Christmas gatherings where we draw names for presents, TMIL and I suggested to his family that instead of swapping presents between 5 brothers, their wives, and all their chilluns, that we all come together and adopt families for Christmas, through our churches and the Salvation Army. On the night of our family celebration, we would come together, separate the adopted family presents, and all go different ways to deliver presents to those families*. In addition to the presents, we gave the parents of each family a gift card to HEB. Afterwards, we would regroup at TMIL’s mom’s house, and have Christmas dinner.
The family loved this idea, and it’s since become an annual tradition.
Okay, back to the dog park.)
She said, “I will never forget your last name. I need to tell you a story that happened in my life.”
Her sister’s family was one that was given to TMIL's brother, his wife, Sherry, and TMIL's mom for adoption that Christmas. At the time, this young lady was living with her sister, had just given birth to a son, and as such, was a single mom. She wasn’t on anyone’s list, but Sherry and TMIL's mom found out about her, and included she and her son in the adopted family’s Christmas.
I said, “I remember this story! No way would anyone in our family leave you and your newborn son out!”
The young lady said, “I’ll never forget that Christmas. And someday, I hope to be able to do that same thing for someone else.”
TMIL and I both said, “You will. You will.”
She and her son lived at Midland Fair Havens** (an awesome local facility that helps single moms find jobs while providing child care and housing)and she worked and entered college. She is now married, attending college full time, and will soon be entering nursing school. She runs into Sherry from time to time, and always thanks her for that Christmas way back when. She is such a precious woman, and doesn’t even know how much she blessed us tonight by sharing this story.
I wanted to write this tonight because:
The time is now to help someone.
The time is now to contact your church, or your local Salvation Army, and ask for a family to adopt for Christmas.
The life you bless...may be your own.
*Most organizations ask you to buy gifts and clothes for kids up to age 14. When we found this out, we asked for more information for each family...because what if there was a 15 year old in the house? Or a 17 year old? In almost every family, there was extended family including older children. They would have been excluded. It was in the asking for more information about the household that we discovered the situation with this single mom and her newborn son living with her sister, and included them. Don’t be afraid to push for more information concerning your adopted family.
**Right now, if you'd like to donate to Midland Fair Havens, Denver Mattress will match your donation dollar for dollar! If you have an extra $5, $10, or whatever, please go and donate!