Sophia, 13, and ZoZo, 7, with parents Brittany and Sam
Love shows up – and nobody gets left behind
Love means being there when someone needs you.
As foster parents, Brittany and Sam knew they’d teach this lesson to any child who came to live in their home. It’s just who they are.
Then cancer flipped the script.
The diagnosis came about six months after Sofia and ZoZo moved in – Sam had brain cancer. Then, another hit – he had a mini-stroke during surgery to remove the cancer. Sam was paralyzed on the left side of his body and faced a long stretch of recovery.
They’ve always been a silver-linings family with a strong faith community, Brittany says. When the word went out, love showed up.
This is what love does.
Brittany remembers standing in the kitchen with Sofia as someone from their church dropped off meals. Sam was still in the hospital and the enormity of it all sank in.
“Sofia – she looked at me and was like, ‘Wow. People really love us.’
“I said, ‘Yeah, they do. This is what love does.’ ”
The church’s meal train fed them for months. People built a wheelchair ramp over the front steps. They picked up the kids from school and took them out for ice cream. “We have a lot of people who’ve loved on them and made sure they feel cared for,” Brittany says.
No one gets left behind.
The siblings’ adoption plan was never in doubt – and when the day arrived, Sam was walking and driving again. The family celebrated in matching T-shirts with a line from Lilo & Stitch, one of their favorite movies: Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.
Because – this is what love does.