WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A local mailman and family have had to make some tough sacrifices amidst health concerns and financial hardships following the addition of two adopted little ones, but despite their struggles, they maintain a mentality to keep pushing forward.
Here’s the story of how they became our first 2023 Christmas Came Early recipients.
Josh Wonder is a postal carrier who has lived in Wichita Falls his entire life. He and his wife Sarah have two kids: an 18-year-old daughter, Emma, and a 15-year-old son, Reece.
The Wonder family expanded when Josh went on one postal route and found himself a special delivery.
“We always had the heart for it, and on my last round, I delivered to an adoption agency, and I started just asking questions,” Josh said. “Never intending on doing it. Well, she talked me into it; she wouldn’t let it go, and she talked me into filling out the paperwork to be foster parents.”
Several kids came into the Wonder’s home, and unfortunately, several also had to leave.
“Not everyone is cut out to just be able to open your home at any time of day, just to take a foster and get attached to [them],” Josh’s mother, Debbie Wonder, said. “I can’t tell you how many have had to leave, you know, and just to see them go through that attaching. And then the foster children leave, you know.”
About three years ago, a little boy just five days old and a little girl who were available for adoption were adopted by Josh and Sarah.
Now, the Wonder’s had to make some sacrifices to be able to afford to adopt these two babies, and then the family started to fall on hard times.
“I’m only 42, but I had a heart attack about six months ago, so that kind of threw another…,” Josh said. “It’s just rough. Rough times.”
“Well, we hate that he has inherited the hardest issues, you know, him having a heart attack at his age has just made us all realize that life is precious,” Debbie said.
Despite the struggles, Josh and Sarah are always giving back. They’re involved with their church, and they love to help the community.
“Well, with Josh being our mailman, and we’ve gotten to where we talk to him when he comes in every day, and that’s been fun,” a resident on Josh’s mail route, Pam Landis, said. “Sarah actually has been, and I teach here at Wayland as well, and she’s been in a couple of my classes, and that’s always been a lot of fun. So, they’re a great couple.”
“I keep doing that because I love kids in general,” Sarah Wonder said. “I taught preschool for ten years, so kids have always been my heart, and I like helping them. I just want to help the community.”
“You can’t just give up, you know, and you have children that depend on you,” Josh Wonder said. “I know life is hard for everybody. Everybody’s struggling, and we’re not really an exception, but we just try to be a good example.”
That strong mentality is why we decided to surprise them as one of our Christmas Came Early recipients.
“They are so deserving of this because it is a struggle right now,” Debbie Wonder said. “Like he said, it’s a struggle for everyone, but we are blessed that Hamilton Bryan chose to do this and you guys.”
“We don’t ask for any handouts from anybody, but this is a generous gift, and we’re very thankful, so thank you very much,” Josh Wonder said.
Josh and his mother Debbie told me they’re excited the Christmas Came Early gift will be able to help put some dinosaurs, monster trucks, baby dolls and stuffed animals under the tree this year because those are the little ones’ favorites.
If you want to nominate someone, make sure to go to our Christmas Came Early page under the Contest section.