Saturday, January 3, 2009

Adopted a family for Christmas

This is an e-mail my mom sent out just a week before Christmas

Hi Everyone, I wanted to share an experience I had yesterday while accompanying my daughter's choir that went to sing carols to the senior center and patients at Sunrise Hospital. We were told that we had been asked to go sing on the fifth floor where usually no group is allowed to go as it is the section where the terminal dying children are. As you can imagine our mood went from happy and excited to that of a quiet respect and reverence as we passed rooms with babies and small children knowing that these children were dying. I could not ever imagine what these families must be going through. Then we were really touched when I mother and father carried their little girl out into the hallway to see the carolers and hear them sing. The little girl has pretty blonde hair with long loose curls. She was the sweetest little thing. She is 2 1/2 years old. Said to say the other outstanding feature besides her pretty blonde hair were the black circles under her eyes which made it very clear to me that this little girl's life here on this earth will not be for much longer. Her dad was holding her:she was not able to hold her head up for very long and she rested it on her daddy's shoulder most of the time. Her mother stood behind the dad holding the IV bag that was attached to the little girl's leg and she was leaning on her husband and looked so tired and worn out I don't think she hardly could stand up on her own. (it reminded me off how hard of a time it was when we had to care for my mother at the same hospital the same time of year). As I stood there I realized my problems did not seem that big: I don't have my shopping done and my house is a mess and I am really frustrated with my kids right now. I realized that this family won't be worrying about their daughter running around crazy and on a "sugar high" from eating too many treats, nor will they be frustrated because she does not clean her room. I also realized they won't be dealing with a sassy teenager that rolls her eyes and tells her parents they are so old fashioned. I realized that I have been blessed in so many ways and my troubles are so little compared to this family facing lossing there sweet little angel girl. When we left and said goodbye to the rest of the choir members and Bethany and I were alone I lost it and bawled my eyes out( I am not a big crier it takes a lot to get to me) even later that night when Todd and I were having dinner for our 25th wedding anniversary I could hardly hold it together. I wanted to share this experience with everyone so you can rejoice in your blessings and give your kids and extra hug even if they have not done their chores and are acting like spoiled brats at times. We never know at any time they can be taken from us. Life is so fragile. I contacted the Candle lighters about this family to see if I could get information. The women was shocked. This family is knew to them and has only been on there list for a week. No one has adopted them for Christmas as the deadline was Oct. 19th. so you guessed right: I adopted the family knowing I only have a few days to pull this off: I am hoping that some of my wonderful friends can help as time is so short. I will be meeting with Daniele from Candlelights tomorrow on her day off to get the families wish list. She said it is very modest compared to other families: the parents said they do not want anything for themselves only their daughter aged 2 1/2 and her 13 year old sister. If you would like to help us give this family Christmas please let me know and i will forward info to you. I know Candle lighters does a great job as a good friend of Brittany's that died of cancer had Candle lighter give them a Christmas one year. Love, Dorothy and Todd (who does not know that I have adopted this family yet but is always supportive)!

We had many responses from this e-mail. I sent messages to my friends on myspace and facebook. We were so pleased with how many people donated. Heres the update and pictures from when we met.....

Hi Everyone, I wanted to thank everyone that took part in adopting Kaycee's family for Chr
istmas: especially with such sort notice! The Clark Country Children's Choir along with support from my ward church choir and some of our friends and family and my daughter's and their friends collected enough gifts to fill up the bed of Kaycee's family's truck but we also needed to put a few bags in the cab of the truck as well! The family had planned and hoped on meeting choir members at Whole Foods Market before driving home to Kingman, AZ. Unfortunately they were not able to do so. Kaycee had not been keeping any food or fluids down for several days so the doctor needed to give her some IV fluids so she could travel home for Christmas so DeAnna and I and some of our children drove over to take the gifts to the doctors office. When we got there dad, Joe came out to meet us: we had not noticed that Joe was using a cane to walk: this family has been through a lot. He took us back to see Kaycee and meet mom: Joy: she is so sweet. When Kaycee saw us she said: "My best friends are here" that was all she said to us as she is shy and was also weak. Joy explained to us that Kaycee did not want to travel to Vegas to go to see the doctor but when they told her the carolers were coming to see her she was happy and went without a fuss. We sang her a song or two and took a couple of pictures and exchanged a lot of tears. Joy said Kaycee is really touched by music and it has such an effect on her. We gave her one of our CD"s to listen to on the way home as well as choir t shirts for her and her sister. Joe and Joy have no family in the west and all their relatives live in the east. Many came to support them emotional for Christmas and to help out the older daughter. they were so grateful for everyone one and all of their willingness to help. She would like the names of each and every person that took part in giving them Christmas she wants to send out cards to each and every person that helped: (I don't think she will have the time as Kaycee needs constant care). Joy said the thought of having to go to the store and leave her little girl for even a short while is much more then she could bare. We went outside to fill up their truck with the gifts: Joy put Kaycee in a light little jacket and said she had not had the time to go get her a new coat. I told her that there were two new coats in the bags somewhere which of course led to more tears and hugs. We loaded up the truck and said our good bye's and Joe took Kaycee out of her car seat and pointed at all of the gifts her best friends had given to them. She blew us a kiss goodbye: her weak little head resting on daddy's shoulder. I felt such a feeling of thankfulness and peace and the true feeling of giving which is what the holidays are all about. I was so glad that we decided to take on this family: it was a lot of work in only three in a half days. I want the Clark County Children's Choir to know we had some extra help: my daughter Ashely that wrapped gifts and kept track of and what was needed. She and her friends from church gave over $200.00 cash and gifts. Thank You Ashley we could not of done it without you! My daughter Brittany and some of her friends helped as well. I also want to thank my family and friends that bailed me out as they know I often take on a bit too much. For those of you that do not know what the Clark County Children's Choir is all about please check out the website. I am not an expert but I can tell you that skill wise this choir is one of the best the country has to offer. As far as the people in this group: they are the best: it is no wonder to me that that is a big part of way their musical talent is due to the fine young people that they are and have been raised by wonderful parents. If you have children, know any children this choir is one of the wonderful positive musical experience that a child can have. I didn't mean to make this sound like a plug but we are taking registration for the new season and it would be a perfect time to join us. I am so thankful to have my children take part in such an amazing positive experience each week: it is their most favorite thing of the week! Please enjoy this picture of Kaycee and her family and have a wonderful New Year! I love you all!!! Dorothy P.S. Sorry it took so long to get back to you: Brittany surprised us with a grandson on Christmas Day!!!

This was such an amazing experience!!! Kaycee is the sweetest little thing and her parents were so amazing. We had over $500 in cash and gift cards and I tried counting all the gifts we collected but they just kept coming!!! Thanks to everyone who helped (=


Anonymous said...


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Brittany & Ryan Petersen said...

Even though I don't feel like I did much I really enjoyed taking part! It is amazing all that was able to be done in such a short time. Also everyone was so willing to give even though it is hard times for everyone! Best wishes to the family!

Erin said...

Thank you for posting the updated info on the family Ashley. I am so glad that the gifts were able to reach them and thankful for everything that your family did to coordinate this with them. It feels good knowing that we were all able to help them in this time of need!