Selfless: Mother of five adopts children of her deceased neighbor
Apparently some 35% of Americans don't have any contact with their neighbors and another 17% only interact with neighbors once or twice a week. But despite the fact that they hadn't known each other for very long or very well, what Tisha Beauchmin did for her Las Vegas neighbor entered into a whole different league.
Audrey was the single mother of three, while Tisha and her husband Kevin worked in casinos and were raising five kids of their own. Since Audrey's daughter Alycia and Tisha's daughter Morgan were close friends and had spent the night over at each other's homes many times, the mothers knew each other.
Therefore, when Audrey had to go to the hospital for testing, Tisha graciously agreed to look after her children for a day or so.
But then things went terribly wrong. A few days turned into a month. Doctors diagnosed Audrey with stage 2 esophageal and stomach cancer.
At first Audrey was told she likely had a year to get her affairs sorted, but even this turned out to be far too optimistic. Within a short time, Audrey's situation worsened dramatically. The cancer had spread and was now in her liver and kidneys. Just two weeks after Audrey had returned home, she passed away.
Since there had been so little time to say goodbye to her children and prepare her estate, she had asked her neighbor Tisha if the three kids could continue to stay with the Beauchmins after she died. Tisha didn't hesitate. Of course they could.
Despite already having five children, it was self-evident for Tisha that they would take in Audrey's children.
Asked later why she did it, she simply replied, "Because they are kids." It turned out that Tisha had some experience with not having a family and she couldn't bear the idea that the children would grow up orphans. "I had to go into a foster home," she explained, "and I don’t want them to ever have to deal with anything I had to deal with as a child because children deserve to be children. They have been through too much. They deserve a loving family and a place to call home."
But at first, the Beauchmins weren't been allowed to become official foster parents for Audrey's kids because their house wasn't large enough for a family of 10. Alycia and Morgan shared a room and bed, as did Destiny and Miranda. Tisha's oldest daughter Holly slept in a little room adjoining the kitchen and her oldest son Chad was on the couch in the living room. The problem was the two boys, Kayden and Kendall, who didn't sleep in their own room but in an open loft.
Authorities demanded that a new wall be placed across it to make it into a proper bedroom. Without this construction work Tisha and Kevin wouldn't be able to begin the process of giving the kids a permanent home. But where would they get the money? They started to despair, not wanting to lose them.
But then through yet another neighbor, a television production team was made aware of the two families' situation and decided to come to the rescue. They produced a whole show around them and paid not just for building the new wall but also for a complete renovation of the house and new furniture, including a bed for everyone.
Since the eldest son Chad had been sleeping in the living room but had been hoping to get his own place, instead of a new bedroom, he received a gift certificate for $1,500 to help him move into his own apartment. A local sponsor of the show offered the family a new car for free and another gave them a year of free groceries at their local supermarket to help them adjust.
When the TV crew presented the Beauchmins with their newly renovated house and gifts, the whole neighborhood was present to celebrate with Tisha, Kevin, and all the children.
You can check out the moving story of the adoption and construction work to prepare the house for the new family here:
Tisha, Kevin, and the children were all deeply grateful and touched. "It’s overwhelming that somebody would do this for me and my family," Tisha said at the moment of the surprise announcement. "I didn’t do anything too special. I did what anybody in my shoes would have done."
Well, I beg to differ. The Beauchmins reacted to Audrey and children in their moment of need with outstanding generosity; it's extraordinary and might even inspire us to get to know our neighbors. Who knows when we'll need each other — and what great souls are living all around us!