(Original Artwork by Susie H.)
You make me smile! That “Santa Smile” is what we want to see on every child at Christmastime and throughout the year. Your face expresses pure joy and happiness!! Many children have “lost their smiles” because their lives are not pure joy and happiness. Their lives are scary and unhappy. They only want what every child should have…. a safe home. When I was seven years old, I lost that smile too. I wanted Santa to bring me a Christmas miracle…. My parents.
My mom died when I was two and my dad died when I was six. I was sure that if they were still alive, I would not be living with this scary, unhealthy, person who insisted my siblings and I call her mom. I was eleven when we were placed in safe homes with families that treated us like family. I did not know what foster care was; I just knew we were safe. We were a sibling group of five, so three of us were placed in one home and the other two were placed elsewhere. The three of us were put in good foster homes with good parents. The other two, yes and no. When I was fourteen, my siblings and I were given a choice to stay in care or go back to “Mother.” The three of us chose to stay put and aged out of the system with my other two siblings being moved around to different placements. I have had “Santa Smiles” ever since, having many non-traditional Christmases, those with friends, friends’ families, work families, and eventually my own family. My brother had the best attitude and would say “I have lots of parents who care about me!” Good foster parents and safe homes can make all the difference in the successful outcome of a foster child.
I was blessed and now I want more foster children to experience the blessing of a good safe home and loving foster parents. That is the mission of Geary Foster Foundations, and it is my purpose and passion. That “Santa Smile” is what we want to see on our children’s faces, for however long they are with us. We know that our two foster families are making a difference in the lives of these children. The best Christmas present I could ask for this year is the continued support that will enable us to complete the construction of Home #3. All I want for Christmas 2023 is a houseful of children with “Santa Smiles!”
Merry Christmas and May we all “Smile,”
Susie Black Holamon
Founder and President