June 17, 2020
"Teachers inspire the smallest hearts to grow big enough to change the world." - Paula Fox
Our Love Box leader, Mindi, is one of those teachers. When Cooper came into her kindergarten classroom almost 2 years ago, she knew he had had a rough start to life. She knew he was in foster care and placed with an adoptive family. She didn't know at the time that he had been in 12 foster homes total in his 6 years of life. By November of his kindergarten year, that adoptive home had failed, he had switched homes 2 more times and she had to discuss with his new foster parents about placing him in a more supportive learning environment at a different school. His little body could not handle learning in a classroom setting with all of the change in his life. She was heartbroken and didn't want to lose him, but knew it would be a better environment for him.
A few months later, Mindi reached out to Cooper's foster parents to check in on how he was doing. She worried about him often and wanted to make sure he had everything he needed. She offered to help in whatever way she could. His foster parents knew about the Love Box program through Spokane Angels and how powerful it would be if Cooper could maintain a relationship with a healthy adult like Mindi. He had experienced so many people coming and going from his life, they knew that Mindi could help him heal and remember that he is worthy and loved.
Mindi and her family have been supporting Cooper's family for a year now, and are continuing to grow their relationship. A few weekends ago, Cooper's now adoptive parents reached out to Mindi to see if she could spend a day with him. He had been struggling, his parents needed a break and he was in need of some one-on-one time. Mindi and Cooper went to the lake together and had an incredible day paddle boarding, swimming, fishing and enjoying the sun.
This is the power of relational healing in action and we could not be more grateful for Mindi's caring heart! 💛
December 10, 2020
Earlier this year we shared a story about a boy named Cooper and his Love Box Leader and former kindergarten teacher, Mindi. Mindi supported Cooper and his family for a year through our programs and within that time the family adopted Cooper as well as two of his brothers.
Although they aren't formally in our program anymore, Mindi still stays in touch with the family and supports them in any way they need. She regularly takes Cooper to play at her home with her own two boys and will babysit all of the children occasionally so the parents can have a date night. As the foster and adoptive community knows, the need for support does not stop after adoption takes place.
Mom shared with us that Cooper and his brother spent last Sunday with Mindi while their dad had to work and she needed some help watching her kids. When mom picked the boys up, she learned that Mindi had taken the boys shopping to pick out gifts for all 8 members of their family and had helped them make a homemade ornament each with their picture in it! Mom said, "I was speechless and teary eyed with the heartfelt thought that went into that special day with them. After a hard year of homeschooling every day, it was so special to see a precious handmade ornament from them. And to have the stress of those gifts taken off my plate was priceless. We are so incredibly grateful for her and her family that continue to be such a great support for us."
August 7, 2021
You've heard us tell the story about Cooper and Mindi before. Cooper was Mindi's kindergarten student and after he moved from her classroom, she became his Love Box Leader. By doing this she was able to be a consistent, healthy relationship in his life; something he had very little of prior to her. Fast forward 2.5 years and Cooper is now adopted. They are no longer in our Love Box program, but Cooper still spends a weekend with Mindi and her family every few months. They spend time together at their lake cabin, playing video games, playing with Mindi's boys, and helping in the garden.
Cooper's mom said, "It's one of his favorite places to be. He loves her so much and it provides some much-needed respite for us. We are so grateful to not only have this support but to know he is loved so well when he is with her family. We are forever grateful for Mindi being able to stay in his life all these years."
November 14, 2021
Cooper celebrated his 9th birthday this month! His life long Love Box Leader, Mindi, took him for a special birthday day together, just the two of them. They got to pick out some birthday presents, go to lunch and go back to Mindi's house to play with his new toys and test out their virtual reality game system. Having such a positive relationship in Cooper's life is such a blessing for his parents. He looks forward to his days with Mindi - so much so, that they ofen don't tell him he's going with her until right before they leave because he gets so excited and anxious to go see her! After their time together, Mindi text Cooper's mom and told her about their time together. Cooper's mom said it brought tears to her eyes. She shared that, "Cooper was confident, polite, happy, helpful, positive and amazing in every way!
I can truly see a huge difference being with him today and I just need to tell you how incredible you two are!
Cooper shared his birthday gifts on his own terms with a smile on his face with our boys. All the boys were racing Cooper's cars around the house and I was thrilled to see their smiles.
My heart was so full today and I’m thankful you are willing to share Cooper and your family with us!" Mindi will be having all 3 boys over for a sleepover in the coming weeks allowing their parents to have an evening to themselves. We are so grateful for above and beyond volunteers like Mindi who stay in their families lives way past our programs endpoint.