Shawn Hornbeck and his Family Prepare to Celebrate Christmas - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Shawn Hornbeck and his Family Prepare to Celebrate Christmas

Pam Akers and Shawn Hornbeck Pam Akers and Shawn Hornbeck
Craig and Pam Akers Craig and Pam Akers

Shawn Hornbeck and his Family Prepare to Celebrate Christmas
By: CJ Cassidy

Almost one year ago we were amazed by the news that young Shawn Hornbeck and another kidnapped boy were found alive.

Many people were in shock that after more than four years Shawn had been found safe again.

Now, eleven months later Shawn and his family are preparing for their first Christmas back together as a family.

Today, Shawn couldn't looked happier or more relaxed.

Of course, this is a very busy time for him and his parents, but they welcomed me into their home yet again to share with us how they plan on celebrating Christmas together as a family - for the first time in five years.

Pam and Craig Akers already know this Christmas will be perfect.

They bought the perfect tree, and lovingly decorated it.  But it's having Shawn back home that makes this one of the most magical holiday seasons they've celebrated in years.

"Since Thanksgiving, I've been doing nothing but smiling, because I can start remembering Christmases from the past.  It doesn't hurt so bad," Pam Akers said.

"Even though Shawn's 16, we still look forward to that Christmas when he was 12, 13, and 14.  That's what we've lost.  Those years of seeing his eyes wide open in amazement - those immature eyes - those young eyes that have not been exposed to all the evils of the world," Craig said.

The Akers don't want to expose Shawn to the rest of the world yet either.

You'll remember we saw him at a Hornbeck Foundation golf tournament this summer, but since then, they've kept him out of the limelight.

His mom says he'll talk when he's ready, but for now, she speaks for him.

"I think he wants everyone to know he's doing well, and he's glad to be home.  He's looking forward to this Christmas.  He's mentioned he hasn't forgotten there's other kids out there.  I'm sure he would like for everyone else to remember that," Pam said.

The Akers themselves haven't forgotten the agony they suffered for so long.

In fact, they must prepare to see convicted kidnapper and sexual abuser Micheal Devlin in court again this Friday.  That's when a federal judge will sentence him to the crimes he pleaded guilty to in October.

"Anything can happen between now and Friday and even after Friday because there's an appeal part.  It's another day we have to go face him. Hopefully we can close that chapter in our life," Pam said.

But for now, the focus at the Akers home is on Christmas and celebrating with Shawn.

"Christmas season maybe hard for him.  He hasn't said it is, and it doesn't seem to be, but he knows anytime, anything comes up, he can come to us anytime," Pam said, and then she added, "I'm just looking forward to seeing his face when he wakes up Christmas morning, and sees his presents and starts opening them up!"

And you better believe he has a lot of presents to open!

Shawn's parents say they asked him to make a Christmas wish list and he made up with about thirty things, mostly accessories for his dirt bike.

His parents say it's a little more expensive than they expected, but they're thrilled to buy him anything to make up for all the years they missed out on.

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