Years ago, when George Coxhead first heard about Palmer Home for Children, he never dreamed that it would one day become a part of his own family’s story. He supported the mission, and even served on the board of directors to help guide the future of Palmer Home.
Many years later, he and his wife Margaret received a phone call that changed their family. Due to difficult circumstances, their four grandchildren were facing the threat of being removed from their home and separated into various foster homes. Though they were hundreds of miles away, the Coxheads immediately made plans to travel across the country and advocate for their grandchildren. A few months later, their home was brimming with the activity and excitement of four busy adolescents. It was quite an adjustment for all involved.
As Margaret became primary caregiver for the youth, the constant stream of life with four teens became challenging. Between school, church, extracurricular activities, meals, and doctor’s appointments there was little down time. The new pace of life, coupled with limitations from Multiple Sclerosis, made it clear to Margaret that change would be necessary sooner rather than later.
George and Margaret began praying together that God would provide a solution for their family- a place where their grandchildren could remain together and be well-provided for. A family that would love them and help them grow into kind, responsible adults. They cried and searched and prayed for many long days and nights.
Then one day, George remembered Palmer Home.
They scheduled a visit, and brought the children to tour the Columbus campus. After hours talking with the staff, asking questions, and re-familiarizing themselves with the organization and its leadership, the decision was clear to everyone. Palmer Home would be welcoming four new young people to campus. Their prayers were answered.
Today, the Coxhead’s grandchildren are thriving. The oldest of the siblings made up multiple courses and months of missed school in a single year. Thanks to her hard work, guidance from her houseparents and the investment of teachers at Palmer School she is headed to college. They’re involved in church, sports, summer camps and campus activities. The older children have become leaders in their cottages and examples of what God can do to redeem even the greatest challenges in a child’s life.
Of course, the journey has not always been easy. Transitions and time away from their extended family network has been hard on the children and their grandparents alike. But they all agree that Palmer Home is giving the siblings an opportunity to thrive.
“Even though we have had to deal with grief and loss, we are optimistic about their future,” says George. “They have a lot of potential to not just grow and be survivors, but to be leaders in this world. We know Palmer Home has the resources and background to develop leaders for Christ.”
Margaret agrees, “They aren’t just a number or a statistic. There are people who care about them. We call them the ‘fab four’—they’re so amazing and have come through such hardship, but I can finally sleep knowing that even if they’re apart from me, I know they’re safe.”
Palmer Home was the answer for the Coxhead family during their time of need. Could it be the answer for your or someone you know?