This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Wendy’s. All opinions are 100% mine.
As you experience life, you come to understand that families are different. When Jonny married into my crazy crew of relatives, he noticed something. Something that I’d never noticed, something that was just so woven into our family narrative: My family loves memories.
We love laughing around the table about that one time my mom spilled the barbecue sauce at dinner. Or the Florida vacation when my dad rocked an Indiana Jones hat and thought he accidentally ran over my brother’s foot with the rental car. (Spoiler: He didn’t.)
We’re in our element when we’re telling and retelling those stories.
Not because those stories are profound, but because when we gather together, we’re recalling memories, recalling feelings. We’re remembering how we felt when we laughed so hard we cried. We’re identifying as a tribe with shared experience — the shared experience of being a family.
My two-year-old likes to climb up on my lap, snuggle his shaggy hair under the crook of my arm, and say: “Mommy, we are family.”
And that’s what family is. It’s people you do life with. Family is the people who create moments that shape and define who we are.
But as you and I both know, not all children are raised and nurtured in a safe and loving family.
I’m a big fan of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The foundation works to find permanent, loving homes for more than 130,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care system.
Each one of those sweet kiddos are in foster care due to no fault of their own, and each one of them deserves a family that will value and treasure them. A family that they can sit around the table and laugh about all the stories and memories they’ve built up together.
So this is pretty amazing: The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption worked with Wendy’s to establish the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Program to focus on children who have been waiting the longest in the foster care system.
To date, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids has served more than 11,500 waiting children and has helped more than 4,500 children be adopted into loving, permanent homes.
Through November, Wendy’s is showcasing children who have been adopted through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, with these kiddos’ illustrations of a special “family first” moment on Wendy’s cold beverage and specialty cups.
The four separate drawings bring to life the power of foster care adoption through a child’s eyes, highlighting everyday family moments that most of us take for granted, such as a day at the beach.
I have watched every illustrated video of these children’s cute drawings and cried my little eyes out at every single one.
Like Rigo’s story. His first family memory is going to an amusement part when he was twelve. Twelve.
I think about all the sweet, special memories my sons, at five and two, can already recall and retell. And even the memories they can’t recall, they can remember how they felt.
Watching these short videos, hearing the kids’ own words, hit me at he heart. I’m reminded of how our family has been so intimately touched by adoption and why we’re walking this rocky road of adopting again, this time a waiting or harder to place child in the United States.
I’m grateful to see a large company like Wendy’s so focused on kids that the rest of the world can so easily tune out. I genuinely impressed that these kiddos, who were once waiting in foster care, are now getting their stories in the hands of millions of people across the country through these illustrated cups.
Children referred to the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program are up to three times more likely to get adopted.
Through the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, special recruiters are hired to work on caseloads of children and give each child as much attention as he or she deserves. These recruiters take into account the needs of the children they serve, to find the children their forever homes.
You can learn more at the Wendy’s adoption page.
So, I want to know: What’s your favorite family memory? Are retelling stories and memories a big deal in your family? How has your life been touched by adoption?