Seven-year-old Ben stared out the window, looking up at the December night sky.
It was something he did before bedtime.
He made the same wish every night.
As a foster child in his fourth home, Ben had been living with the Martin family for almost six months.
The mom and dad were nice enough and treated him well and he got along with the couple’s two children.
But Ben longed for something more, he wanted his own family. He wanted a permanent home.
That was his nightly wish.
With Christmas approaching, kids at school had been busy talking about what they wanted Santa Claus to bring them.
And while Ben thought that a new bike or the latest video game would be nice, he couldn’t help but feel jealous of his classmates who talked nonstop about how every year they would wake up on Christmas Day and run downstairs to see what was under the tree.
Bouncing around from home to home meant he never really got to experience the magic of Christmas morning with a family.
Ben wondered why he couldn’t have that, too.
And then it hit him.
Ben decided he would write a letter to Santa Claus, asking him to bring Ben his own mom and dad, maybe even a brother or sister.
He gave the letter to his foster mother to mail and told her it was important and needed to get to the North Pole.
Ben was confident this would work.
“Don’t be too disappointed if Santa doesn’t bring you what you ask for,” she said.
“He’s pretty busy this time of year and can’t possibly read every letter he gets, but I’m sure you’ll find something under the tree with your name on it.”
Ben thought at least he tried.
Each night since he had sent the letter, Ben sat in his usual place looking out the window. On Christmas Eve, he was there again.
“Please, Santa,” he whispered with tears in his eyes. “Please bring me a family. I’ll never ask for anything ever again.”
With a heavy sigh, Ben crawled into bed, pulled the covers up, closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.
Sometime in the middle of the night, Ben felt a tap on his shoulder.
Thinking he was dreaming, he rolled over, but felt the tap again.
Slowly, Ben opened his eyes, and lit by the moonlight, he saw a small creature looking back at him.
“Come on, Ben,” it said. “You need to come with me.” ...