Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Christmas Story...

I'm not sure how to go about telling this story or how much I should tell ( I don't want to embarrass anyone), but It's a story I wanted to share because the person involved really touched my heart and the heart of 4 really cool kids!

I guess I will start by telling you a bit about the 4 cool kids. For about 4-5 months now, I've had what might be considered 5 new foster kids/young adults. I consider them my "kids". 4 of them I met through my church, NCLC and the other is my my oldest daughters best friend.They were youths in the church who were having family issues at home or for one reason or another were staying with other church members and somehow ended up migrating and staying with me.

I wont go into details on their family issues, but I will say they ranged from alcoholic parents, physical abuse and just general family issues such as dealing with step parents or in this case, not being able to deal with the step-parents.

When I first met these kids, I only knew them through church and I was hooked on them from day one. They were all so hard working, dedicated kids. They would show up at church every weekend to bush cut, clean..do just about anything that needed to be done. No complaints, no questions asked. Whatever the pastor needed them to do..they were there to help. Which to me was impressive since getting my oldest daughter (who is the same age) just to do the dishes was a task in itself! ha ha..

The more I got to know these kids, the more they grew on me..and eventually, they all came to live with me..Jude and Ryan pretty much 24/7, Garett and Iunis stay with me on weekends and holidays or weekdays when things are just unbearable at home, and Triny is with me most week days and weekends, but she does go home to help her mom out cleaning their house occasionally.
All the kids had been really helping out around the house (my house) cooking, cleaning, doing laundry..whatever they can do to pitch in and help ease my load..and I really appreciate it! I really wanted to do something special for them for Christmas. Just before Christmas I had a conversation with one of the boys and I asked him what he wanted for Christmas. His response to me took me by surprise and really touched my heart. He said, "Ms. you already have given us more than we could ask for, I don't need anything else."

A few days later my oldest daughter and I were talking and I asked her what she thought I should get them for Christmas. She said she had also been talking to the boys to get an idea of what they wanted and one of them told her he had never received a Christmas gift ever. I soon came to find out that story was true for most of them..

To make a long story short (ok, it's a bit too late for that..ha ha) I decided I would do my best to get them a gift I knew ALL of them would love! I'll be honest, times have been really tough for me lately. With a household that went from 4 to 10 in a matter of months and with only myself being employed it's definitely been a challenge. But I wanted so bad to get them a good Christmas gift. I eventually decided that I would try to get Ryan, Iunis and Triny and Tia cell phones, Garett a CD player and Jude an Ipod or MP4 player.

As luck would have it, I won a nice portable CD player at my company Christmas Party. My prayer had been answered for Garett.
I then set out to get the cell phones. I had seen in the paper an add for some pretty nice phones that ran about $90 each. Quite a bit of $$ when your looking for 4. But I recall one of the boys talking to my daughter about that particular phone and I knew they would LOVE to have one.
As soon as I received my Christmas bonus, I began calling the phone company to see if the phones were available and where and when I could get 4 . For some reason, two days of trying to get through was proving very unfruitful and I kept getting answering machine after answering machine. It was a couple days before Christmas so I figured that everyone must be busy and I worried that I might just be out of luck. Then I remembered a fellow blogger who works for the phone company...BRAD!

After a bit of phone tag, I got through to him and told him I was looking for some phones for Christmas. Four Katana's to be exact. He asked me who they were for and I explained to him about my church "kids". He immediately flew into action, made some phone calls and before I knew it he had 4 Katana phones ready for me at a SUPER great price and on top of that he threw in a bunch of phone cards to get the kids started off with their new phones. When I went down to pick up the phones and Brad told me about the discount and everything, I swear I wanted to cry!!!! He didn't know it, but the discount he gave me would allow me to buy the gift my youngest daughter Mirika had wanted for Christmas, and without that discount, I would not have been able to get for her.

I took the phones home and wrapped them up in all different sized boxes to throw the kids off of what could be inside. I could tell they were all so excited that they would be getting a gift this Christmas. I was hard for me to wait for Christmas Eve to come so I could let them open their gifts....I think I was twice as excited as they were!

Christmas Eve eventually came and that night before we went to church we all sat around the Christmas tree. Ulu gave a speech to the kids about how much they meant to us and have been a blessing in our lives and how much we cared about them..Then one by one I passed out their boxes. The looks on their faces as they opened up their gifts is something that I just can't put into words....

I did however, take some pictures and a picture is worth a thousand words..
Ryan with his cleverly disquised cell phone...he has no idea..
Trini and Tia began texting immediately..
Iunis was super happy! He really, really, really wanted his own cell phone.
Garett opens up his CD player...
These boys have never been so quiet before..ha ha..if I knew, I would have given the phones to them sooner..ha ha

Garett opens his COBY MP player. He said he loved it, but I think maybe he wanted a phone.. :)

Tia loves her new pink Katana!

The boys are all smiles as they play with their gadgets.

So with that, I just want to say a VERY BIG THANK YOU to Brad for helping to make 4 very cool kids super-d-duper Happy on Christmas! Oh, and of course for helping to make my daughter Mirika (who was not with me Christmas Eve) but who got to open the Nintendo DS Lite she really wanted Christmas Morning...You rock!


cee said...

what a wonderful story! it gave me goosebumps. "When you give, you receive" and it's amazing how Our Lord will give you your favor and send good people your way for generous deeds. You're such an inspiration to have opened your heart and home like that to those great kids! : )

Road-Block Blogger said...

Now that was a beautiful Christmas story. I agree with Deece in her comments. Tammy you and Ulu have done a remarkable thing with these children, I am sure they will always remember this moment you both had given to them.

Deece said...

What a wonderful Christmas story!! I got all teary eyed. I'm so glad God is using you and your church to work in these kids' lives. I'm sure He has wonderful things in store for you and your family!

Anonymous said...

your story brought tears to my eyes. if the world only had more people with hearts like yours...

KelliOnSaipan said...

Great story. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Just stopping by, usually lurk most local blogs for the hell of it but I'd have to comment on this one. God bless and keep up the wonderful posts!

Anonymous said...

Tam: Shame on you! You made me cry. You are a better person than I could ever be and will be blessed over and over for your generosity and, most of all, for your unconditional love of these kids. To be generous when you have an abundance is good, but to be generous when you are struggling to make ends meet, is in the true spirit of love thy neighbor. I am proud of you and will pray for the best for you and your entire “family” Love ya. Donna

Tamara said...

Yikes, i didn't mean to make everyone cry : ) Thanks for all the beautiful comments but now you guys got me crying : )

bigsoxfan said...

Thanks for telling the tale, Tami. So far the year is starting out in fine fashion for all of us reading your story. Not to mention, the new texters.

DATALIG said...

Tami....that's a wonderful post. Very thoughtful and caring of you and your family. By the way, is that Trini Aldan?

De-lurking you.....


Tamara said...

Yes It is Trini Aldan. Do you know her? Are you related? She's an really sweet girl!

DATALIG said...

Yeah....Trini is such a sweetie. Yes, related through Doris....they are 1st cousins. Her dad is like a brother to me. Tell her I said Hi.

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