“A mother messaged me on April 7, 2022:
‘Please, please help my son. He is going through it. His dad tried to kill us several years ago. He choked me, cut my throat, and stabbed me. My son who was 10-years-old at the time had to hit his dad with a piece of wood to knock him off of me. I’ve reached out for help and the principal told me he dropped the ball with him. He talks about killing himself. He is only 14-years-old, please help me! The kids went into foster care because of me and their dad’s domestic abuse, but I fought and did what I had to do to get my kids back. We ran from state to state for 2 years. Finally, it’s over, but my son has no one and he hasn’t had anyone to try. I’m only a mom to him. Please, please God help him!’
A lot of people look at my social media accounts and expect not to hear from me, and this is probably what this family was thinking. This family has been watching my TikToks, and the kids most definitely didn’t expect me to come all the way from Statesboro, Georgia to Cleveland, Ohio (approximately 628 miles). But little did they know, I had a big surprise for them in store.
I let the mom know that I was coming and she was so astonished and so thankful that I could surprise Lenique, her 14-year-old son. She immediately blocked my social media accounts from his phone so he wouldn’t have any idea I was coming. I ended up putting up a post asking if anyone was in the Ohio area and multiple people reached out to get involved. I had never been to Ohio a day in my life, and I was going alone! I didn’t know anyone in the area besides one person, but God made a way and connected me with some amazing people that helped me plan everything. I was so excited, I probably was more excited than the family!
The Big Surprise
One way or another, I finally made it to Cleveland, Ohio. I got off the plane and headed to baggage claim. I saw everyone on my flight get their bags but mine was nowhere to be found. I ended up being the last person there, waiting on my bag, when the machine cut off and no other bags were coming out. I went walking to check the other stations and my bag was nowhere in sight, so I started to get a little frustrated! Next, my ride that was supposed to pick me up sent me a text saying they couldn’t take me, so I had to find another ride. Not only did I have to somehow locate my luggage, but now I had to figure out how I was getting to my AirBnB.
My bag ended up getting lost and going to San Francisco, California. They said I wouldn’t be able to get my bag until 2 days later. It seemed like the world was really trying to do whatever it could to ruin the day for this family, but I wasn’t going to give up. The next day was the day of the big surprise, so we went around to countless stores to buy balloons, but apparently everyone was out of helium! After many attempts, we ended up with just one balloon. Still, I remained calm and didn’t allow anything to stop this surprise from happening. As we were waiting for the kids to get off the bus, I was waiting in the front yard, ready to see the reactions on these kids’ faces.
The first bus came and it was Lenique. He looked so confused at first, like who are these people in my yard. As he got closer, however, he saw me and was shocked. He just kept saying, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe this is really happening!’ I gave him a big hug and felt his heart racing. I told him that everything will be alright and that he has me now! It was a bittersweet moment I know he will cherish for the rest of his life. Next, we waited on Faye and Dominique’s bus to come, which are the younger siblings. As the bus pulled up, you could hear them screaming from the inside. It was so amazing! They were telling everyone that a famous person was coming to their house.
As they got off the bus, they came up to me like they knew me forever. It was a heartwarming moment for the whole family. This family hasn’t had an opportunity to enjoy life, this family hasn’t had an opportunity to be happy, and this family has spent too much time in a very dark place. But just by me showing up, and showing them that I care, I feel I gave this family hope again. This family had nobody, no family, and barely any friends, but suddenly they were surrounded by people who loved and cared about them.
Foster Youth Matter
Their mom told me that if anything ever happens to her, she wants the kids to go with me and no one else. This is the main reason I quit my day job, to be able to be a voice for the voiceless and to be able to show up for people when they need you the most. As we speak, so many kids in the foster care system are suffering in silence. There are so many families suffering in silence. I want to continue to use my platform for all of the right reasons.
If I can leave you with one message, it’s that we have to learn how to appreciate what we have, because there are so many people that are wishing to have what you’re complaining about. Don’t take life for granted. And when in doubt, know that you are not alone.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Davon Woods. You can follow his journey on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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