Last night we were invited to a graduation party for a very special young man! But before I get to that you need just a little bit of history……..
My sister and I were in foster care growing up for reasons we do not need to dwell on here. We had a fabulous foster mom and she is still very much a part of our lives. In 2001 I was introduced to a program where my husband and I could be “sponsors” for kids that were in a group foster home. We would have a child a couple of weekends a month and share some Holiday time with them to allow their house parents a break! I have always been so thankful for the helping hand that my own foster mom gave us that I wanted to do something to “pay it back”. I thought being a sponsor would be perfect.
We started out with one young boy in 2001 and almost immediately started bringing along his brother. Eventually we would also take his sister on a regular basis. During this time we would from time to time have 2 of the other siblings, there are a total of 7 children. From the get go I realized there was something very special about these kids – regardless of what they had gone through they ARE there for each other – a very tight sibling group. My husband and I did what we could to try to help them have time together.
A few years into our sponsoring the youngest was adopted by a very special lady. Special because she was willing to adopt an older child, but also because she realized how amazing this sibling group is and over the years she has always kept the other children (now grown) in her son’s life.
To give you feel for how these kids would think when they were young…..
In the beginning when it was just Paul we were sponsoring my husband took him to Space Center Houston, at some point they got a helping of “Space Dots”, because that is what you do when you are there. Well, Paul had never had Space Dots and after taking a few bites he asked if they could go home – hubby said sure if you want to. They get home and Paul puts his remaining Space Dots in the freezer so he can take them back to the group home to share with his brothers because they had never had those before!
Many Sunday’s on the way to take the boys home we would stop at McDonalds to feed them (don’t judge me!). Paul has always enjoyed his meals, but one particular trip he did not eat what he ordered – we asked if he felt ok, he said he was fine. We arrived at the group home and here comes little brother (the one that is graduating tonight) and says “Did you bring it?” And Paul handed over his meal we had purchased for him. We would’ve gladly bought an extra meal had we known.
For Christmas one year we gave the boys bikes to keep at our house after many years of enjoyment – they took some time to check out the bikes and make any necessary repairs before handing them off to the 2 youngest brothers.
Now I will try to caption a few photos to share with you and I hope you will join us in congratulating the not only the student but the village that has been part of this young mans life! We are so proud of him and know that he is destined to do amazing things in the future! As you have participated in your Baccalaureate ceremony already, you are member of National Honor Society, you received Male Scholar Athlete for 2014 and many other accolades.
A very special thank you to mama for inviting us to share the big celebration – I admire you so much for continuing to always put your young man first!