I wanted to honor a woman named Chrystal whose light has inspired me. She has three biological children and added a fourth child to her family through adoption through the US foster care system. She not only welcomed this beautiful child into her family but has opened her heart to her daughter's birth mother who had aged out of the foster care system.
Chrystal also started an organization called Foster Village Austin, as a way to support foster and adoptive families.
In Austin, 67 children slept in CPS offices in two months time because of a shortage of licensed foster homes. Often, when foster parents are approved, a child is placed with them almost immediately. It's not uncommon for children to come to families with only the clothes they are wearing. So Chrystal started a project to create Welcome Boxes for these children and their foster families. These boxes contain several days worth of clothes, basic necessities, and comfort items.
I decided to go with a geranium dress. It's a classically cute style and the shape of the dress is pretty forgiving. I wanted this all to be a surprise and didn't have her daughter's measurements.
I made muted rose piping for the neckline and matching rose buttons for the back.
The fabric is this print from Art Gallery's denim collection.
I also bought two gift cards for her to be used only for pampering herself.
One of the most important values I want to impart to my children is to have a heart to love and serve others, especially those in the greatest need. December is a common month for people to focus on service projects in the spirit of Christmas. But we have found that December is such a busy time with so many other commitments, we aren't able to give as fully as we'd like then. So this year we decided to focus on doing service projects in July. The timing was perfect since we weren't homeschooling.
These project ideas came from others, mostly those in the adoption community. All of these projects are easy to do with kids, so I thought I would share them.
- We shopped for and delivered food to our local food bank. The food bank is in great need during the summer months because children who normally receive free or subsidized meals at school aren't in school and often go hungry. Our food bank had a list of the foods which were needed most.
- We put together kits for homeless people who wait at stoplights. We used this article to guide us.
- We purchased items to support Chrystal's project.
- As an ongoing project, we sponsor five children through Compassion International and we try to write to them on the first Sunday of each month. The letters make an enormous difference in the lives of these children and we have been so blessed by the letters we have received in return.
Thank you, Chrystal, for shining so brightly! The world needs your light!