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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!

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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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Single Mom Who Lost Job During Lockdown Gives Lottery Winnings To Cop Shot In The Line Of Duty

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With nearly endless coverage of all the chaos and violence bombarding us on network news, not to mention the whole fight over mask mandates, coronavirus safety measures, and everything else happening in the world, it can be easy to think there’s no goodness left in the world. Of course, as long as Jesus Christ is on the throne we know that’s not true, but sometimes, you just need to be reminded that He’s still at work in the world around us. And He is, folks. He truly is. That’s why we need to hear stories like the following. Apparently, a single mom who lost her job during the lockdown over coronavirus, has donated lottery winnings to a police officer that was shot in the line of duty. Here’s more on this from The Washington Examiner: Shetara Sims lost her job amid the coronavirus pandemic and had $7 to her name, local outlet WITN reported Tuesday. She found a $1 bill in a grocery store parking lot, bought a scratch-off ticket, and won $100. Her daughter, Rakiya Edmonson, suggested they donate the money to an officer who was shot on the job on July 2 and remains in the intensive care unit. “She won $100, and I said we should donate it to the police officer that got shot for his family to go eat and see him,” Edmonson said. Sims agreed with her daughter and said she was motivated to donate because of the empathy officers had shown her following her sister’s 2012 murder. Sims went on to discuss how detectives were really there for her and her family during that difficult season of life. “The detectives were really there for us. They were there for us more than anyone I can imagine. They did things they didn’t have to…

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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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