This is going to be one of those blog posts with more words than images.
Every year since I can remember- about 22 years now, my family has supported this agency that connects kids with foster families. We would always plan a huge party that we called "Kidz Who Kare." My parents (and eventually brother and I and later sister) would organize this event with fun things like a bounce house, cotton candy machine, crafts, games, food, etc. We'd invite EVERYONE over to our house under one condition, that they bring a Christmas gift for a foster kid. As we grew, these kids grew too (but we never met them, we only knew they existed and needed us). It was easy when we were younger because kids aren't hard to shop for, but eventually they were asking for things like headphones, iPods, purses, and makeup. And still, our loving friends and family members would contribute and attend our party every year. Eventually my sister, the last child in our family, graduated from high school and went off to college. That's when the parties stopped. But my parents continued to give and stay connected with Concept 7 and our dear friend, Isabel (pictured below, on the mic) who we've been communicating with over the years. Her heart of the kids and their families is so big, and she contains such a huge love for the Lord and his work in Concept 7. What an inspiration!
This year, I was able to attend one of THEIR Christmas parties. You see, every year, the agency has put on its own party for the kids and their foster parents. Only recently donors were allowed to come as well, to see the amazing things God is doing in the lives of these children, teens, and young adults. Because of my family's involvement in Concept 7, they gave me the opportunity to come and take photos with Santa (and Mrs.) Claus. To guard the safety of these children, I cannot post any photos of them. But I'll post the photo with Panda (from Panda Express) and the Owner of Concept 7 Family Care, John Peel.
It was amazing having the opportunity to meet with and talk to some of these kids and staff members I've heard about my entire life. Panda Express and In-N-Out both contributed their time and food to the event and there were some delicious desserts handmade by Sweet Livin by Essence.
If you would like to contribute to this cause or get involved in foster care and adoption, PLEASE visit Concept 7's website and send them a note. They are kind, loving people and would love to hear from you!