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Arkansas Foster Parents Give Seven Siblings the Christmas Surprise of a Lifetime

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Just a few short days before Christmas, a group of seven Arkansas siblings in foster care got the greatest gift they could ask for: adoption.

When Michael and Terri Hawthorn of Hot Springs, Arkansas first became foster parents, they knew they were in for quite a journey. But they were convinced it would not be a life-long journey.

“…I said, ‘We’ll do it for a couple of years, but we’re not gonna adopt any, so don’t get that in your mind,'” Michael shared with Yahoo Lifestyle of their initial decision to foster. “Well, we ate our words there.” Did they ever!

Trending: AOC Admits It On Live TV — Impeachment Is to ‘Prevent’ Trump From Winning Re-Election (Watch)

Throughout their time as foster parents, the Hawthorns have loved and sheltered more than 80 children.
In April of this year, they adopted a pair of siblings, ages 1 and 3, but their family was not yet complete.

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A pair of ten-year-old twins came into their home in 2015 and, in spite of frequent relocation by county officials, the children were able to stay in the Hawthorn’s loving home on and off for three years.

“So they were with us, then [the Department Of Human Services] moved them, three months later we got them again and had them for several months, then DHS moved them again,” Michael explained to Yahoo. “After that, we had to get a senator involved, and he had to pull some strings.”

At that time, the Hawthorns weren’t even aware that the twins had five other siblings in the system. Once they found out, it became their mission to open their home to all seven children, ranging from 8 to 15 years old.

“The mom’s rights had been terminated over a year ago,” Michael said, offering some insight into the children’s heartbreaking background. “They come from a very rough situation. Both parents on drugs. Very unhealthy situation that they were in.”

“The only times we got to eat is when our neighbors would sneak us a bag of chips,” Kyndal Hawthorn, one of the seven children, said to THV11. “We didn’t have a can opener, and they’d give us the cans that we didn’t know how to open. So, sometimes we just didn’t eat.”

“When I got [to the Hawthorn’s home] I was like, oh my gosh, we get our own beds,” said Layna Hawthorn. “We never got that, we had like one bed and most of us slept in the floor,” Kyndal added.

The couple began the nearly year-long process of adoption back in February, and they finally shared the good news with the children in November. “We told them the Sunday before Thanksgiving at church we were adopting them,” Michael recalled.

What Michael and Terri didn’t know was that that one of the kids made a wish on a falling star the night before in hopes that the Hawthorns would adopt her and her siblings. “They were in tears, a little jumping up and down,” Michael said. “Very excited.”

“It feels good to actually have a family to wake up to every morning,” Kyndal shared with THV11.

“It feels so great knowing we have a family now and won’t have to go anywhere else,” said Dawson Hawthorn, 15.

“These kids did not ask to come to foster care, four or five different homes, or schools,” Terri shared with the local news outlet.

“This is a blessing, they are a blessing,” she continued, addressing the common complaint that nine kids in total are too many. “Every day these kids wake up and they are giggling and they are happy, and you see the smiles on their faces, that’s what makes this worth it.”

“We hope this will give other opportunities and people will consider opening their homes to foster care and adoption,” Terri said. “There is such a big need for families in Arkansas, and we will be the first to tell you, it’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. Lots of prayer and love is what made this possible.

Prayer and love are absolutely mandatory for any family to thrive, especially such an amazing family as this one. God bless them!

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Uplifting

Craft Beer Customers Leave Unopened Can of Pale Ale on Bar for Fallen Soldiers

The gesture did not go unnoticed.

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craft beer

There really isn’t anything more American than craft beer. Before the experiment called “prohibition”, America was home to well over 2,500 breweries, with a vast majority of these businesses being family-operated and neighborhood-focused.  The banning of alcohol in the early 20th century brought this number down to around a half dozen or so companies, nearly all of whom converted their factories to produce medicine or dairy products in order to survive. Now, thanks to the resurgence of craft beer, Americans have their choice of nearly 4,000 smaller breweries to buy their swill from. And this doesn’t include brands like Coors, Miller, or Budweiser, who have all been gobbled up by giant, foreign conglomerates, making them no longer American-owned companies. In Atlanta, Georgia, the undisputed king of craft beer is Sweetwater – a brand usually focused on recreation and leisure. As visitors experience the brewery’s newly renovated taproom over Memorial Day Weekend, something special and spontaneous happened. To that, we simply say “cheers”.

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Uplifting

Total Strangers Gather to Celebrate Life of Korean War Vet on Memorial Day Weekend

America has not forgotten those who sacrificed it all for our freedom.

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veteran

Amid the barbecues and Budweisers, it can be difficult to temper our Memorial Day celebrations with the true reason for the remembrance. Those of us with a three day weekend are likely gassing up the boat, gathering our grill supplies, and lathering on the sunscreen in anticipation of Memorial Day – a holiday that is far too often relegated to the realm of “hey it’s summer”-style shenanigans. We mustn’t ever forget why we have the day off, however. Memorial Day is truly a day of solemn reflection on those we’ve lost in the line of American military duty – a fact that is all too often overshadowed by these celebrations. But not for the fine people of Ohio, who showed the world what compassion is all about this weekend. A public call for mourners to attend the Ohio funeral of an unaccompanied 90-year-old Korean War veteran Saturday resulted in an overwhelming response. “It being Memorial Day weekend it was the right thing to do to come up and honor his life,” Suzanne Koehne told Fox 19. She attended the funeral in Cincinnati after driving nearly 100 miles to get there from Louisville, Kentucky. The turnout was incredible. An estimated 400 strangers, like Koehne, showed up to pay final respects to Army veteran Hezekiah Perkins whose only family, a daughter, couldn’t make it because of poor health, Fox 19 and other media reported. The gesture is just another reminder of the inherent greatness of the American public, and their reverence for those who sacrificed it all for our freedoms.

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