As much as it feels like people only care about the commercial side of Christmas, it’s still the time of year where the concepts of loving, sharing and giving are plastered on every surface for everyone to see. This family understood that Christmas isn’t about how big of a present you can buy for someone. They understood that there were more important things in life than material possessions. And thanks to their understanding of the true meaning of giving, they were able to change the life of one very special little boy.
It goes without saying that Christmastime is an exciting time for people of all ages.
It’s nice to see the expression on someone’s face as they open up the gift you got for them. And honestly, who doesn’t like to open up a fresh pair of socks on Christmas morning? Hopefully, the holidays were a beautiful and blessed time for you and your family, but unfortunately, there are many people out there who aren’t so lucky.
The only thing that 11-year-old Carter Wyles wanted for Christmas was a place to call home.
Sadly, Carter had spent most of his very young life bouncing from foster home to foster home in Lancaster, Ohio, so Christmas wasn’t always the greatest for the little boy. Luckily, this Christmas was going to be the best one yet!
It’s a sad fact that the foster care system isn’t always helpful for boys Carter’s age.
More often than not, adoptive couples choose to adopt babies or younger children, not 11-year-old boys that have already been to several different homes. As it turns out, if things didn’t change for Carter, then he could be heading down a sad and lonely road.
It goes without saying that children need to be raised in a stable, loving environment.
As hard as we try to provide foster homes that fit every child’s needs, there are some things that can’t be replaced. And a true family is one of them. More than 25% of foster children end up homeless on the streets within two to four years of getting out of the foster care system.
This was a possible reality for Carter, but luckily, this Christmas was going to be the best one yet.
Carter was invited to spend Christmas with his Aunt Leah Kiphart and her family.
As Carter sat on the floor by the Christmas tree, he was given one last gift. As Carter began to tear away at the paper, the entire Kiphart family held their anxious breaths. But for Carter, this Christmas was going to be the best one yet.
With the Kipharts looking on, Carter finished opening his gift.
As he finished pulling out all of the tissue paper, he grabbed the present out of the box. In Carter’s hands were a framed picture and a note. Carter was about to find out that this was going to be his best Christmas yet.
Carter looked up and smiled when he realized that the picture was of the whole Kiphart family.
Carter grabbed the note and began to read it out loud. Halfway through the note, Carter began to cry. “Carter,” the note reads. “Here is the most recent picture of our family. All of us would love for you to be in the next picture, and for you to be a part of our family. Carter, would you like to be a Kiphart and be our son and brother?” This WAS the best Christmas yet!
Overcome with emotion, Leah walked over to her nephew and wrapped her arms around him.
“What do you think, buddy? We’re going to adopt you, Carter,” said Leah’s husband. Carter nodded and said, “I want to thank you so much.” Because of changes in Carter’s case, Leah and her family had to make a quick decision.
Carter was transferred to open status, which meant that anyone could adopt him, not just family.
“This was not planned. We discussed with our other children Sunday night and shared with him Monday morning,” explained Leah. “This might have been the last time that we were ever going to see Carter, and felt that it was really important for us to keep him in the family. A lot of people talk about how lucky he is. We are just as fortunate to have him join our family.”
Thanks to their love, Carter was able to have a brand new family, and the best Christmas yet!