Adopt a Family {40×41}

The Christmas season is busy.  SO busy.  Birthdays, family, school, friends, travel, um… Christmas itself.  And, while I’ve wanted to adopt a family for years, I’ve always felt too busy.  How awful.  It pains me to admit that.  I nearly missed the boat again this year, truth be told.  When I finally contacted the lead for our church they were out of families (amazing!) and only had single elderly people left.  That really tugged at my heart, even more than a family in some ways, and I gladly accepted Mr. Stowe to shop for.  His list was meager – just a pair of boots and some green towels.  In speaking with the coordinator, I learned more about his living arrangements and other potential needs and we were able to provide what I pray are many more useful items.

Much of the reason that I wanted to do this was for the benefit of the littles.  We’ve shopped for Toys for Tots, loads of food and other one-off type collections, but never gone and filled up a whole cart and whole tree for someone else.  We shopped for Mr. Stowe over Thanksgiving break and I had a third in tow :-)

Here’s how it went down.

Me: Boys, we have adopted an elderly man and we are going to shop for him in 20 minutes so finish up that game and get ready.


Blank stares.

A visible swallow.

Whit: When does he arrive?

John: Where did you find him?

Andrew: Where will he sleep?

Their hearts!!!!  It was funny.  But also so amazing.  Nobody questioned it.  Nobody moaned or groaned.  They thought I had seen a need and filled it.  That I’d found an elderly man and that I was bringing him home.  So, we hopped in the car, armed with our list, and headed to the store.  These kids DO NOT like shopping, but we made the most of it.  They were in charge of scanning things without a price, pushing the buggy, helping pick things out, you name it.  And, as expected, they also did their fair share of goofing off.

We wrapped the gifts, labeled them for delivery and looked forward to drop off day at church!!

We came right at the beginning of the drop off, but it was a pretty moving experience.  The entire hall at church was filling with gifts!  There was a square on the floor for each “family”.  High school elves helped unload everything and get it to the proper place.  As we walked out I had them just pause and look around.

There had to have been at least 100 families.  I asked them to just think about that.  Our little church alone provided Christmas for 100 families that might not have had it otherwise.  And I asked them to think about the things we shopped for… essentials.  Laundry detergent.  Plates. Towels.  Shampoo.  A blanket.  Such humble requests.

It was an honor and a privilege to participate in this program and something we will gladly and humbly do for the rest of our years.  I truly hope that Mr. Stowe knows that there is one little family of four right here in Atlanta that is thinking about him, praying for him and wishing him the merriest of Christmases this year.


Adventure is Out There {40×41} Bucket List


15 thoughts on “Adopt a Family {40×41}

  1. We are a part of two groups that adopts families. In one group we were assigned to a 3 year old boy, who needed board books, a coat, and shoes (we also loaded him up on toys). In the other, we were given the mother who needed utensils and silverware. Though we have done it for many years,my 9 and 11 year olds really grasped the concept this year. It was truly humbling and a big life lesson for us all! So glad you shared because you have the ability to inspire many others to do it as well!

    1. I hesitate to post things like this because I don’t want to seem “yay me… let’s all give me a pat on the back.” My intent is pure and good, and my hope is exactly what you said – that this platform could be used to inspire others to do the same. Thank YOU for sharing your story as well. xo

  2. Amanda, I love this! And I love the precious, basic goodness of your boys (and little boy brains, haha)!

    We’ve done this for years, since before we got married, originally finding our families through Gwinnett County DFACS, and now through church. What a blessing and perspective-giver it is when our children participate as well. I’ll go ahead and say this is one of our favorite parts of Christmas, every year.

    Love to you all, sweet lady! ♥ xo

  3. Your post brought tears to my eyes as I read it aloud to my husband. Things most of us take for granted in our day to day lives mean so much to so many in need. Our grandchildren have way more than they need and it’s getting so hard to buy something for them they don’t already have! This year my husband and I participated in making wish list donation to a local orphanage. I told my husband just the other night if we ever won the lottery after making sure our family would be taken care of, I’d donate to those in need. It truly is better to give than receive.

    Merry Christmas to you and your precious family Amanda!

  4. I love this!!! It truly is a blessing to be able to give to others this time of year, but you are also instilling a kind heart in your boys and their friends. Bless you for that!! I know the recipient will be extremely blessed by your generosity.

  5. Words cannot truly express how sweet this post is! What a blessing, not just to Mr. Stowe but to all your fans reading your post! I love it! This really tugged at my heart! You are doing such a great thing by teaching your littles about doing for others! I so wish your family a Very Merry Christmas!

  6. I am sitting here with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, to think there are so many doing it tough, especially during the festive season, and yet my heart swells to think there are so many who are willing to help those in need.

    Myself and the ladies I work with, recently participated in a charity drive here in Australia called Share the Dignity, where you donate a gently used (or brand new if you prefer) handbag and fill it with necessities that we potentially take for granted, like sanitary items, soap, shampoo and the like, we also popped little gifts into the bags, coins to buy a coffee, nail polish and mascara, the bags were dropped at designated collection points and from there they are delivered to homeless shelters, Police Stations etc the week leading up to Christmas and handed out to ladies doing it tough or fleeing abusive relationships and have to leave everything behind, this Christmas alone, 90,000 handbags were donated, such a nice feeling to know you can bring a smile to someones heart even for a brief moment.

    I know Mr Stowe will feel the love from the gifts you have chosen and sent to him from your beautiful little family Amanda, Merry Christmas to you, Honey and your beautiful boys from Australia x

  7. i had the best laugh, thinking of your boys wrestling with the idea of an elderly gentleman joining your household. I tried to read the post to my husband, but kept laughing hysterically. Merry Christmas!!

  8. I love this, Amanda. How wonderful that you and other church members were able to provide for so many families. You are teaching your boys many valuable lessons and I am sure they will always remember doing this. A great reminder for us all to think of others during this time of year. When I used to be a member of our local MOMS club, we would adopt a family at Christmas. It’s been awhile since we, as a family have done anything like that, though. You have inspired me!

  9. Thank you for being a shining example of a pure and good heart, Amanda. Your appreciation and gratitude for the simple things in life comes across more than anything you do and it is truly remarkable. God bless your family.

  10. Awesome! Just AWESOME! I love it. My kids go to Catholic school and we participate in a program called Red Bag. Each classroom “adopts” 2-3 kids who are around their age that are in the foster care system. It is always something I look forward to but also is sad. Many of the red bag kids don’t have a family and the items we collect is all they will receive on Christmas as well. It is very humbling and a lesson in humility and gratitude. I always feel like we receive more than we give… Truly the meaning of the season! Merry Christmas!!

  11. I loved this post. I managed to solicit a group of colleagues at work (a first for me) to participate in a similar event. We adopted 5 seniors. They wanted gift cards. Easy. I really liked how you and your boys went beyond the basic request. I am sure your Senior was thrilled with his gift box. XoXo.

  12. I loved this post. I managed to solicit a group of colleagues at work (a first for me) to participate in a similar event. We adopted 5 seniors. They wanted gift cards. Easy. I really liked how you and your boys went beyond the basic request. I am sure your Senior was thrilled with his gift box. XoXo.

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