Medina Journal-Register — The smiles and excitement on the faces of Cheatham family members Friday night almost made the hardships of the past two months fade away.
This past October the family was displaced from their Starr Street home due to a fire. Since then, Dion Cheatham said, the community support has been overwhelming.
“I think I can speak for the family when I say we’ve seen the darkest days, but we’ve also received a number of blessings from the entire community,” he said. “We’re so thankful.”
Thankful was a word repeated many times Friday night.
About a month ago, the officers’ union at Albion Correctional Facility adopted the Cheathams for Christmas. On Friday, Ann Hecht, Dan Houseman and Alvin Boose visited the family at their current home on State Street.
And they came bearing gifts. The visit itself was not a shock, but the sheer volume of presents seemed to be.
“I told them they were the family we adopted,” Boose said.
Dion Cheatham and his wife, Robin, had their expectations exceeded. Their seven children and one grandchild really had the joy of a kid at Christmas as they opened their presents, which ranged from various Spiderman paraphernalia to an Easy-Bake Oven to a TV.
“Even when he told us we were the family they chose, I didn’t know what to expect,” Cheatham said. “We would have appreciated anything.”
He wanted to say more, but didn’t quite know how. “I’m speechless.”
Robin Cheatham chimed in at that point, equally thankful for the generosity of the corrections officers.
“Everything is a blessing,” she said.
Since the couple’s children were given the chance to make Christmas lists, Mrs. Cheatham added, “I didn’t look at what they put down.
“If they put down anything outrageous, I’m sorry,” she added, drawing some laughter from the houseguests.