What Happens When You Adopt a Family at Christmas - Good Shepherd


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January 11, 2019

What Happens When You Adopt a Family at Christmas

You’ve seen a list like this before:


Boy, Age 6. Likes superheroes and football. Size 6.
Girl, Age 4. Likes dolls and coloring. Size 4T.

Mom, age 27. Needs new slippers and towels. Size large

Baby Girl, 6 months. Size 6-9 months.


Maybe you’ve “adopted” a family like this before. Perhaps it was through your work, or a classroom effort at your own child’s school, or just a way you chose to be charitable at Christmastime.


After you see the list, you head to the store (or pull up some online shopping). You carefully select the items that you think this family would like, perhaps adding an extra toy or a package of well-needed socks. You wrap the items if the agency has requested them, or you keep them in their original packaging. You drop off the items at the collection site, and hope that this unknown family somewhere near you likes their gifts.


It may seem like these items just disappear, and go to a nameless, faceless group of individuals somewhere. You may wonder what part of town they live in, what the little boy’s favorite superhero is or what the little girl names her dolls. You might wonder what their faces will look like when they open your gifts on Christmas morning.


Each year, we rely on hundreds of donors to help us make Christmas special for our families. Our dedicated case workers meet with families and help them fill out the wish lists that you fulfill. They talk about what the children would like and what kind of necessities they need. They pass on the lists to our “Christmas elves” (our staff who goes above and beyond their “normal” duties to make Christmas happen) and they are connected with donors.


When the gifts come in, they go to our workers, who deliver them to the families. Some gifts go to foster families – moms and dads in our community who have opened their homes to children in need. We love being able to supply gifts for foster families and help them take care of the children they are caring for. Some gifts go to kinship families, grandparents and aunts and uncles and other family members who are unexpectedly caring for a child in foster care. These gifts help provide a Christmas for families that might not otherwise be able to. And still, other gifts go to families who have recently been reunited. One such family was a mom and a dad who had been working hard on regaining custody of their two young sons. They had recently moved into a new home, but because of moving expenses, they didn’t have much left over to buy Christmas gifts. With your help, they were able to provide gifts to their boys and celebrate reunifying their family at Christmastime.


We thank all of you who fulfill those wish lists for families you will never meet. We thank you for buying toys that you’ll never see joyfully ripped open on Christmas morning. We thank you for selflessly providing a magical Christmas experience for the children in our care. Thank you!