Home means many things to many people. For a soldier, it’s typically where their family resides rather than where they’re stationed. For a student, it’s the place they return to on summer breaks and between semesters. For a child, it’s often where the people who have birthed them live. But what about a foster child? What if the child has lived in a dozen homes in a short period of time? For the North Georgia Angel House, it’s 2260 Sam Nelson Road. I am reminded of this each day when I open the mail and spend my morning texting dozens of children who forgot to change their address when they registered to vote or failed to pay a speeding ticket. But besides opening the mail, there are other ways.
As we prepare for the Holiday Season, dozens of our girls will travel from near and far to reconnect and spend time together at the place they call home. Many will bring the next generation of children back to a place where they can recite where they first learned to cook a meal or had a person who loves them say “good job.” Girls will return to the rooms that are now called home to new foster sisters and tell stories of what it was like when they lived here.
As we shop, wrap, and tag for 60 youth that we’ve never met, we reflect on the days when their moms were our teens. We laugh at the crazy things they did and what mistakes were avoided as a result of having a place that they call home. As we ponder what their children will be like, we find ourselves tasked with preparing for toddlers and infants as opposed to teens and young adults. Instead of Vans and mascara we are wrapping Elmo’s and play dough.
It is during this time that we are able to look back over the last decade and take pride in the growth we’ve seen in our girls. Many are now moms who are working and getting the hang of juggling children and employment. Some are deployed and only corresponding when idle time reminds them of the skills they learned prior to shipping out. Others are still attending college or trade school to find a path that will provide for them as life goes on. But for many of us, we have spent this entire decade watching our girls grow wings and come back to the place where they have roots.
Our Home for the Holiday’s is coming up in the next couple of weeks. It will be a time to feed a flock and meet the faces of those who are eager to learn about the place our girls call home. We are so fortunate to have a huge network surrounding us from Lake Arrowhead to Soleil and hundreds of friends and families in the community who have all played a vital role in maintaining what we call home. If you’d like to test this theory, ask yourself “where’s my home?” My guess is, it’s a place that you return to because the memories you have hold a special place in your heart.
From our home to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas. We will be celebrating with many of our girls and now with their children as well. As we continue to love and support them, we want you to know that your role in making their house a home is found at 2260 Sam Nelson Road. The place with the giant mail box and no forwarding address for so many. Why? Because it’s home.
Visit us often at www.angelhousega.com to learn how many more of our girls failed to change their forwarding address. We might need a bigger box soon!