For many families, the first holiday season after a burn injury can be challenging. Through our Adopt-a-Family program with the support of our amazing sponsors, we are able to provide a bright moment during the holiday season for families. Below is a letter sent from one of the families adopted this past December highlighting what this program meant for her and her family.

I guess I want to explain a few things.  We are a family that was doing fine, great in fact.  We have teens and were looking to what the future could look like without children to care for, pay for, and drive places.  We were definitely happy.  But, my husband and I felt called to do more then just “be happy”.  We went through the process to become foster parents.  We thought it might be tough be we could help.

Fast forward we agreed to take two boys that had been in separate group homes for over two years.  They had never had a true family. They never knew what “normal” was like.  They had been in and out of foster care.  We wanted to show love.  Then… it turned out they had sisters.  The sisters were not in a good foster placement and their needs were not being met.  My husband and I were asked to consider taking them in too.  We had to make huge home modifications (add a bedroom) and add a pool fence. And it had to be done in a matter of days.  This was not financially an easy thing for us but we knew it had to be done.  When you know there is a need there isn’t a choice.

With all this we have learned significant things about behavioral health, trauma therapy, and something we never expected – burns.  I have never cared for a medically needy child let alone two.  We had no idea that the girls had burns on a significant amount of their bodies or that they would need so much reconstructive surgery and procedures.

The Arizona Burn Foundation stepped in and helped me so much.  I didn’t know that there was a Burn Clinic that specializes in treatment of burns.  I didn’t know how to process anything that had happened to the girls.  Lori at the Foundation spent hours helping me navigate where to go and how to get them help.  She offered so much supportive care you can’t imagine.  We are so grateful for her and the Foundation’s help.  The girls have now had surgery in California and are receiving laser therapy there too.  We will be back there many more times before the journey is over but both girls will have the opportunity someday to tell their story when THEY are ready instead of people knowing their story by just looking at their scars and missing hair patches.  They will not be burn victims or burn survivors but they will be in control of who they tell the world they are.  All of this has been in part possible because of the support from the Arizona Burn Foundation.

We accepted that Christmas would look different this year.  It would look different for our biological kids because our resources had to go many other places to help and create an environment that is safe for 4 new additional children.  It would look different for the four additional children we welcomed in our home because it is a home.  It is a home full of love and peace and safety.  We all learned so much about Christmas.

I learned what overwhelming generosity feels like.  I don’t think I can describe to you the tears I cried of surprise and gratefulness.

Your gift was so unexpected.  It was unbelievable.

You gave things that we needed.  You gave FUN surprises.  You gave fantastic products (like the face cream) that we as a family use daily.  You gave things that I would never give my self permission to buy that brought so much joy.  Thank you.