When a neighor asked Tisha Beauchmin if her kids could sleep over one night, she couldn’t have known that the arrangement would become permanent. But sadly, her neighbor Audrey was diagnosed with cancer. And when she asked Tisha to adopt her kids, an old secret meant that she couldn’t say no. Tisha, however, would be rewarded for her generosity in the most tear-jerking way.
Tisha, a bingo cashier from Las Vegas, Nevada, has a lot of love to give. In summer 2016, for instance, a neighbor she barely knew asked if her kids could stay over while she went into hospital for some tests. And while there would be a lot of kids to look after under one roof, Tisha said yes.
After all, with Tisha’s own five kids and now with her neighbor’s three kids in the house, things were tight. But it would only be for a few days, she thought, and she knew how important it was. Not least because less than a year before, her neighbor Audrey had lost her mom to cancer, and now she was experiencing similar symptoms.
It was, however, a situation that would last for just over a month. And when Audrey finally returned home several weeks later, she had some devastating news. Yes, doctors had diagnosed the mom-of-three with stage four cancer. And because it had spread rapidly to her esophagus, liver and kidneys, doctors had given her just one to five years to live.
Two weeks later, Tisha received a phone call at work. Sadly, Audrey was back in hospital. And even with all the hurdles involved in taking them in, Tisha again didn’t hesitate welcoming Audrey’s kids into her family. But when she asked how long the arrangement would last, nothing could have prepared her for the answer.
Tisha later wrote on her GoFundMe page, “[Audrey] said, Tisha, my kids have never smiled so much, they have never been so happy. They tell me, mom, she yells at us and makes us clean. She takes us to school and says I love you, have a good day. She makes us shower… I want to know if you will take my kids when I go.”
And yet until then, Tisha had barely known Audrey. In the space of less than two months, however, they had gone from having spoken once in passing, to Audrey requesting Tisha take legal guardianship of her kids when she’s gone. And having learned more about the kids’ past, Audrey just couldn’t say no.
As Tisha explained, “I didn’t think about it, I just cried… I didn’t call my husband and ask him. I just cried and said yes!” There was, however, a very personal reason Tisha couldn’t say no. And, indeed, why she knew her husband would back her up.
As another neighbor, Elizabeth Thames explained to Fox 5, “Something that a lot of people don’t know: Tisha was brought up in an orphanage. She was not gonna let these kids go.” Tisha did not want the kids to go through the same childhood that she had experienced herself.
Tisha explained to Fox 5 why she couldn’t turn down Audrey’s request. She said, “Because they’re kids. I had to go into the foster home and I don’t want them to ever have to deal with anything I had to deal with as a child. They’ve been through too much. They deserve a loving family and a place to call home.”
And so it was set into motion that when Audrey’s time came, Tisha would become legal guardian to her three kids. The whirlwind began on November 18, 2016. When Audrey didn’t arrive home on November 21, as expected, Tisha went looking for her and learned that she had been transferred to a hospice.
Things moved fast from there; Tisha took the kids out of school and headed to the hospice. After all, she knew it was their last chance to say goodbye to their mom. And tragically, on their way home, Tisha received the call she had been dreading. Just 10 minutes after they had seen her, Audrey passed away.
Having believed Audrey had a least a year left, Tisha now faced a big fight to keep the family together. And with three new additions to the family, space was tight, to say the least. The younger kids were sharing beds; the older children went without bedrooms at all.
Morgan and Alycia, the two girls who were already friends, shared a bed in Morgan’s room. In another bedroom, Destiny and Miranda shared a bed. Meanwhile, 17-year-old Holly slept in the open-plan kitchen, while the eldest, Chad, slept on the sofa. But that only accounted for six of the eight kids.
Two boys, Kendall and Kayden, shared the attic space. However, a condition of Tisha adopting Audrey’s three children was that they must be provided a real bedroom. But with eight mouths to feed, money was already tight. How could they afford to erect a wall to provide a whole new bedroom?
Well, one morning Tisha got a knock on her door. It was Fox 5’s Surprise Squad, and they had a shock in store for the Beauchmin family. Yes, the TV team – who make it their mission to brighten the days of Las Vegas residents – offered to build the wall to convert the loft space into a bedroom.
The TV crew ushered the Beauchmins to a nearby hotel while work got underway. However, what they didn’t know was that they were receiving a whole lot more than a wall. In fact, Surprise Squad provided new furniture, so that each kid now had their own bed. The team also fitted new carpets and gave the house a lick of paint. But that wasn’t all.
Chad, who had been sleeping in the lounge, received $1,500 toward a place of his own. Moreover, the team also provided a car big enough to ferry the whole family around. And, to help feed 10 hungry mouths, the family also received 12 months worth of groceries free of charge.
Kevin, Tisha’s husband, said tearfully, “It’s usually hard to figure out how we’re going to get food — and we always do it — but we are not going to have to stress about that.” Tisha added, “It’s overwhelming that somebody would do this for me and my family.”
In November 2016, Tisha began classes to help her become a foster parent to her three new kids, with the intention of adopting them all. “These are our children now,” she wrote on her GoFundMe page. Then, after insisting that she’d simply done what anyone else would have done in her position, she concluded, “We will continue to care for these kids the rest of their lives.”