As parents, we want to give our kids the best we are capable of giving them- we want them to feel loved, safe, and cared for. Every child deserves to feel that their needs are being met.
But not every child, for various reasons, is fortunate enough to have those needs met at home. A child is ideally placed into foster care in order to provide him or her with a stable environment, but the transition can be traumatic.
Even if a child is removed from their home for good reason, it can be so confusing and overwhelming for a little one.
A foster mom took to Facebook to share a stranger’s extraordinary act of “paying it forward” in providing she & her foster daughter with an impromptu Target shopping spree.
Mom Sundy Goodnight is passionate about caring for those in need, and has been a loving, compassionate foster care mom for awhile now- it is quite literally her ministry.
Her “newest blessing” (I love that she refers to her foster daughter in those terms!) needed a few practical items after arriving at the Goodnights’ home, so Sundy and her foster daughter went shopping at their local Target.
As they shopped, they fell into conversation with another shopper who eventually asked Sundy what she did for a living.
Sundy told the woman about her job and her foster care ministry, which the woman expressed interest in joining. Then the woman shared a personal revelation:
And then shared she,
herself, was in foster care as a teen.
Sundy’s foster daughter immediately said, “I’m in foster care.” … and the connection was made.
The woman asked Sundy if she could buy her foster daughter a toy. But the woman felt led to buy far more than just a single toy for the little girl.
For the next hour, the woman led Sundy and her foster daughter on a shopping spree, purchasing virtually everything the little girl needed, and several things she wanted.
As Sundy describes it:
She bought shoes, book bag, toys, and bath bombs and a fluffy blanket and pillow and fluffy socks.
The woman had been in the foster care system. She knew through personal experience the types of items a child transitioning into a new home would need.
But in addition to needed items, she knew the type of things that a child would need to feel loved. Doted upon. Viewed as special.
And the young girl came away with all sorts of necessities and goodies.
Sunday was blown away by the woman’s (referred to as Ms. Carolyn) amazing act of kindness- and credits it not only to Ms. Carolyn, but a higher power as well:
I still can’t believe this happened. She had no idea that this girl came with basically NOTHING- BUT GOD DID!
It wasn’t just the amount of items that made this moment such a moving experience. It was the time spent as well, and the deliberate effort to let the young girl select items that she personally liked.
We don’t know anything about the girl’s prior home life, or what circumstances led her to be placed in foster care. That’s not the point.
It’s so difficult for a child to adapt to leaving one home & entering another, even if the new home is a loving, nurturing one.
This shopping experience was one that the young girl will likely never forget.
She felt loved and special, not just by her new foster mom, but by Ms. Carolyn as well. Her response to the shopping spree:
And my girl said she felt so special and she kept saying “God Blessed Me” and I bet she said thank you 10 times.
The extraordinary kindness of Ms. Carolyn will have a lasting effect on Sundy as well. As they settled into home later that night, she was still blown away by their experience, and so very thankful for it:
And truly, though less than 24 hours ago her world was turned upside down- tonight a little dignity was restored, and this child whom I’m already head over heels for says she feels special and “rich”!
Think about what that must be like for a child- to have life as you know completely altered- within a single day.
It’s confusing, to say the least. Frightening. Overwhelming. And I’m sure a lot of uncertainty, possibly even fear creeps into the heart of a child as they try to adapt to completely new surroundings.
Ms. Carolyn knows what that’s like, because she lived it. And she sent a very clear message to the little girl with her shopping gift:
It’s going to be ok. We’ve got you. You’re seen, and important, and loved.
No matter what circumstances the young girl came from, with women like Sundy and Ms. Carolyn loving on her, she’s on solid ground now.
Every child deserves to feel loved and special. And any adult can encourage those emotions, even in the smallest of interactions.
I’m glad that Sundy shared this story publicly; the post already has 68K shares in three days, for good reason. People need to know that as dark as the world can seem sometimes, there are so many good, kind people out there.
There are still the Sundy Goodnights of the world, providing a safe haven & loving arms to hurting children.
And there are still the Ms. Carolyns of the world, spotting those who need love and lavishing it freely on them.
Let’s give props to the Sundy Goodnights and the Ms. Carolyns out there, and do what we can to follow their examples!