Dear Dave, Steve, and (welcome back) Falen:
I have loved listening to Christmas Wish so much over the years - it’s probably my favorite segment that KDWB has ever done. I’ve always imagined what it would be like to be able to do something like that for someone in my life. And this year, I have someone in mind who truly deserves to have her Christmas made special. Her name is Nichole, and this year has been one incredible whirlwind for her.
Back in May, Nichole’s 3 year old niece Tiara and 2 year old nephew Devante were on the verge of being put into the foster care system after their mom lost custody of them, and no other family members could - or would - take them. Nichole knew that there was no way that she could let her family be fractured by allowing the kids to be placed with a stranger, so she applied for - and received - temporary custody of them. She did this despite being just 24 years old, and knowing that doing so would completely turn her life upside down.
She did this despite already having a pretty full schedule. She works full time as a clinical program assistant at a nonprofit organization that provides autism and early childhood mental health services. In addition, she’s also going to school, working on finishing up not one but two degrees - in Human Services and Addiction Counseling. And to further give you an idea of the type of heart that she has, earlier this year she went to the Humane Society looking to adopt a puppy, and chose one that not only had issues with separation anxiety, but is also totally deaf. Everyone knows how much work puppies can be, so you can only imagine how much more time and effort is required with one that has special needs.
So on top of all of those responsibilities and commitments, she has also now voluntarily taken on the role of being a mom to two small children. In addition to raising them at home, she somehow finds the time to for all the trips to and from daycare, doctor’s appointments, therapist visits, meetings with the county, and everything else. She even manages to drive the kids up to Forest Lake each weekend, to make sure that they get to see their mom and spend time with her. Social outings with friends and any other leisure time have become a rarity for her, as the kids consume pretty much all of her free time outside of work and school. She’s had to give up her passions of traveling as well as going to concerts, both of which she used to enjoy doing several times each year.
Nichole is doing all of this pretty much on her own, without much support from anyone else. Her mom lives in Florida, and while her dad does live close to her, he serves in the Army and is currently deployed. And although she’s reached out to various family members asking for help with watching the kids from time to time or picking them up if she’s busy, no one has offered to help her out on a regular basis. She’s shouldering far more responsibility than anyone should have to do alone at her age, and it’s an incredible testament to the unconditional love that she has for these kids, and her desire for them to be in the best environment that they possibly can be.
In the next few months, there is a very likely possibility that Tiara and Devante will officially be put up for adoption. Nichole has already made it clear that if that happens, she will file to be the one to take them. Based on her choice of career, fields of study, and compassion for animals, it’s already quite evident that she’s an amazing human being with a profoundly deep and caring heart that is rarely seen. But her willingness to take the kids on a permanent basis and be their parent and caregiver for the rest of their adolescent lives just underscores the true selflessness of this woman’s spirit. If you ask her how she does it all while still maintaining her sanity, she’ll brush it off and act like she’s fine. But anyone who spends even a small amount of time with her would see what an enormous sacrifice of time, money, and resources she’s committing to these kids by dedicating her life to making sure that they have the best life possible. Please consider recognizing her this year for her true embodiment of the giving spirit that makes Christmas the treasured holiday that it is.
For Nichole & her family this holiday season, we got a $300 Cub gift card for groceries, $100 Holiday gas card, $50 gift card for Davanni's, 4 tickets to Disney On Ice, an LG 4K 49” TV, $25 Netflix gift card, $25 Hulu gift card & $50 AMC gift card to go to the movies as a family! They're also recieving a Disney cookbook, matching fuzzy pajamaz for the family, Don't Break the Ice game, sippy cups for the kids and a Christmas wreath. To keep a clean house this holiday season we got Nichole a bunch of cleaning products like a Swiffer sweeper/vacuum as well as a Wetfet, Duster & refills. There is dish soap, Clorox wipes, Tide Pods & bathroom cleaner.
For 3-year-old Tiara, lots of toys! She'll recieve a Giant Olaf plush doll from Frozen, Frozen dolls, a Frozen guitar, Frozen Play Dough set, Frozen dish set, a Frozen Blanket,Frozen Stocking & aFrozen Backpack! She'll also recieve bedtime books & TV eating tray. We also got Tiara clothing items. Frozen pajamas, a new winter jacket, sweaters, pants and winter accessories.
Davante, who's 2-years-old, will receive a giant plush dinosaur. bedtime books, Mickey toy car, hotdog dance break Mickey, Buzz Lightyear, a Play Dough set, Batman dish set, a Marvel blanket, Avengers stocking & a spaceship backpack! We also got a bunch of clothes for Davante. A new winter jacket, sweaters, pants, Batman footie pajamas, Disney slippers and winter accessories.
Finally, for Nichole, $150 Visa Gift Card for clothing, $25 Forever 21 gift card for clothing/accessories, pajamas, cozy bathrobe, a new winter accessories & slippers. She'll also recieve a $25 Starbucks gift card, day planner, beauty advent calendar, face masks, a Christmas stocking & a black backpack.
LISTEN: Dave Ryan calls to surprise Nichole Montez & Family with a KDWB Christmas Wish