For the past several years, we have felt called to help foster children. A great local organization is the Adoption Coalition of Texas which works with foster agencies to find adoptive families and support foster children. They have a backpack drive which we are often involved with, and they do Secret Santa wish lists at Christmas.
This was our third year as a Secret Santa family, and we were matched with an 8-yr-old boy, Hayden. It was a lot of fun shopping for boy toys! One of the items on his wish list was a “Hex Bug.” We had never heard of this, but we found a great Black Friday deal for a big set – regularly $30 down to $12! So we stood in 40 degree weather with hundreds of other people outside of Toys R Us to get one for him.
He also requested “spy gear.” Many of the marketed spy sets are expensive and have weird items, so I decided to put one together myself.
It included two magnifying glasses, a fingerprinting kit, binoculars, a flashlight and a secret notebook. I wish I’d had time to track down some disguise mustaches or something.
We also got Hayden a stomp rocket and some sour gummy worms. I hope he likes everything!
As we were buying the toys, I tried to explain to Hannah “These are presents for a boy Hayden. Hayden’s mommy has some problems, so he doesn’t get to be with her right now.” Hannah asked, “Hayden sad?” I said, “Yes, he misses his mommy but he gets to be in a safe place.” Her eyes filled up with tears and she said, “Hayden hug!” I love her tender heart.
There are many toy donation drives for the holidays, but I enjoy doing this because we are personally shopping for a specific child. Every year, we actually end up spending more for “our” foster child than on gifts for Hannah. But Hannah is blessed to have a loving family and grandmas who really like to shop, so there will be no shortage of gifts under the tree with her name. Hayden is in a safe place this Christmas, but he’s away from his family, playing with toys that aren’t his. And even if his family is full of problems, it still must be a hard time for him.
So Merry Christmas, Hayden! We’re praying for you, and we hope you enjoy the gifts.