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First Tree for Tyler Foster Teen


When your teenager comes to you pleading for an iPad this Christmas, or your kid’s Christmas letter to Santa includes such must-haves as Dance Star Mickey or the Justin Bieber Singing Doll, never mind if it’s too expensive, too trendy, or just too ridiculous … they reeeaallly waaahnt it BAAD.

This could be the perfect time for a reality check. When 15-year-old “Robbie” (not his real name) moved in with his new foster parents in Tyler last month, the family wanted to make him feel included and involved in their upcoming holiday plans. They were having a conversation around the dinner table about family Christmas traditions, which included the whole family picking out and putting up the Christmas tree together. Robbie, who is shy and somewhat sullen by nature, didn’t say anything, just grinned.

The next morning, as he was getting ready to leave the house for school, Robbie asked his foster mom Terri if they were going to pick out their Christmas tree that evening. Since it was still only mid-November, she told him “No, we’ll wait a couple of weeks.” Clearly disappointed that he would have to wait that long, Robbie asked if they could please do it sooner. Because, he said, “I’ve never had a Christmas tree. This will be my first.”

Once Robbie was out the door Terri found herself choking back tears. How much do we take for granted? What kind of a childhood is one where a boy reaches 15 without any happy holiday memories? Worse than the threat of finding coal in your Christmas stocking is never having a stocking at all.

Thanks to loving foster parents like Robbie’s, a significant number of children in LSS foster care will have their first truly merry and memorable Christmases this year.

This holiday season, Lutheran Social Services would like to send special blessings to our amazing foster parents. They are our Christmas Angels!

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent for LSS, or might know someone who is, please explore, or call 877-747-8110.

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