By Angela Parker,
As a child, I loved to play make-believe. I would spend countless hours outside cooking meals out of mud and leaves, pushing baby dolls around in strollers and pretending to be “Mommy.” I would shuffle papers around at the table, and imagine that I had important business. Isn’t it fun as a child to dream about your future and all the wonderful possibilities that are there?
During my early elementary years, my make-believe games began to change. A little boy started coming to my school who was a foster child. In my mind, I didn’t fully understand what this meant, but knew he had been in foster homes. I imagined these “homes” as places where lots of children lived where loving people took care of them, cooked large meals, curled the little girl’s hair for church, and read bedtime stories. My playtime began to include me working in a home like this. I would pretend that I was cooking dinner, plating out delicious food for child after child. Or, I would imagine doing homework with all of the little people in my care. I was reminded of this recently as my husband and I cared for a boy’s residence home. As I opened can after can of green beans for dinner, and buttered an impossible number of rolls for a bunch of hungry boys, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. If I had only known how much my childhood play would mirror my actual future!
I am so thankful that I have an opportunity to be a part of the ministry of Tupelo Children’s Mansion. I am thankful for the people that I work with everyday who have chosen to devote their time and energy to care for these awesome children. I am thankful for the wonderful sponsors who give sacrificially to keep this ministry in operation. Because of the love and concern of so many, I can look across the campus today and see children outside playing make-believe, pushing strollers, throwing baseballs and dreaming of a bright future. I like this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” It is awesome to know that there is a beautiful future for the children who are dreaming their dreams at Tupelo Children’s Mansion!