Christmas has officially passed for another year and while most of us are thinking about sales or using up a gift card we got from Santa yesterday, my thoughts are still with a group of 15 youth who aged out of the foster care system, wondering what kind of day they had yesterday and wondering if, for a moment, they felt a level of love that they had not known before.
Here at Carlacopia, we like to give, a lot. There are many places to give, many areas where one can volunteer or provide money, there are no end of people that have taken a wrong turn in life or who were not provided with the same opportunities like myself. One of those types of groups is children who end up in foster care. These children lost their parents, either physically or emotionally, and were put in a system that is intended to pair them up with others who will take care of them, love them and help them grow into adulthood. Sometimes though, these kids don’t find their forever family and they go through the system, come out the other end, and are somehow expected to figure it all out and make their way in life alone.
Several years back I was engaged in the adoption system, looking to adopt two children. I started out hoping for toddlers but changed my mind to wanting to adopt teenagers. For several reasons, I had to place the process on hold and in the end never did adopt anyone but I always kept a place in my heart for whomever those kids may have been. So when I heard at my day job that we were putting together some stockings for a group of 15 youth that had aged out of the system, and that one of my colleagues was providing them all Christmas dinner, I jumped at the chance to connect with these kids. Not being able to actually go to the dinner myself, I wanted to send them my thoughts and love anyway – so I decided to make them a bunch of homemade baking, wrap it up in an individual package, and send it along so they could get a special package from me.
All last week I baked and baked and got the packages ready for delivery. I still have to follow up with my colleague on how things went and if they enjoyed their stockings and baking packages and, as I make my way through the rest of the week, I continue to send my thoughts toward these kids, hoping they enjoyed what it was like to have someone think of them and provide them with an offering of love. A true Christmas gift for sure.
-Carla and Abby