If you ask your average kid what he or she wants for Christmas, you’ll probably get some of the usual offenders: gaming systems, new technological devices and ponies.
But if you ask these seven siblings, their answer is heartbreakingly straightforward. They wanted a family, and now say that being adopted was the best Christmas present ever.
“It feels so great knowing we have a family now and won’t have to go anywhere else,” Dawson Hawthorn, the oldest of the seven, said to THV 11.
For these kiddos, it’s the simple things in life that they are enjoying — things that so many people take for granted. What kid would be as ecstatic to have their own bed?
“When I got here I was like, oh my gosh, we get our own beds,” Layna, another of the seven, said.
“We never got that,” explained sibling Kyndal, “we had like one bed and most of us slept in the floor.”
But now the two boys and five girls have more than the basics. They have rooms, toys, clothes, a family and food — which is something they didn’t always have access to.
They explained that in their old living situation the neighbors would sometimes try to take care of them and feed them, but there were roadblocks that most of us wouldn’t be able to imagine.
“The only times we got to eat is when our neighbors would sneak us a bag of chips,” Kyndal said. “We didn’t have a can opener, and they’d give us the cans that we didn’t know how to open. So sometimes we just didn’t eat.”
“It feels good to actually have a family to wake up to every morning,” she continued. “Having food on my plate and not anything with bugs all in it.”
The parents who are now home to these seven grateful children have two other adopted kids as well. When Michael and Terri Hawthorne first considered fostering, they thought they had it all planned out.
“Our first words were okay we’ll do it for a couple of years but we will not adopt,” Terri admitted. But their current family shows that they’ve eaten their words in the best possible way.
They have a message, too, to other couples out there who have room in their homes and hearts. “These kids did not ask to come to foster care, four or five different homes, or schools,” Terri urged.
“We hope this will give other opportunities and people will consider opening their homes to foster care and adoption. There is such a big need for families in Arkansas, and we will be the first to tell you, it’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. Lots of prayer and love is what made this possible.”
“This is a blessing, they are a blessing,” she continued. “Every day these kids wake up and they are giggling and they are happy, and you see the smiles on their faces, that’s what makes this worth it.”
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