NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - A military mom who came home from her deployment to give her son the surprise of his life at his school in Fairfax County received her own surprise on Friday.
Navy Petty Officer Shadia Everett and her son JJ stole hearts on social media last week during Riverside Elementary School's Military Child Appreciation assembly. Shadia had been gone for seven months and had not seen JJ until that touching moment.
Shadia has to return back to her base in Africa on Friday and was not going to be home for Mother's Day so FOX 5 stepped in to help her Pay It Forward.
FOX 5 teamed up with Eastern's Automotive Group and provided Shadia, JJ and their family members a limo ride to National Harbor for an early Mother's Day brunch.
"Surreal. It's been so surreal. I'm so excited to actually play hooky with him out of school today so all of us get to chill and eat and be together. I'm excited," Shadia said.
"It's been awesome," JJ, who is 7, exclaimed. "We went to Lego Land. We spent time with our family. And today we get to have brunch."
JJ has been staying with his great grandparents, Donald and Gloria Vincent, and other family members have been pitching in to help as well while Shadia's deployed.
"We all pitch in. His mom, his aunt, his cousins, church members. Everybody chips in because he has that type of personality that everybody loves being around," JJ's great grandmother Gloria Vincent explained.
"I call him Uncle J because he has an old soul," JJ's Aunt Theresa said. "He's a very intelligent young man. He loves his mom. He totally understands what she's doing and how she's doing it for the betterment of both of them."
If you know someone who should be featured on Pay It Forward, you can nominate them here. In your email, be sure to include who they are and why they deserve to be recognized.