Welcome aboard! No dumb questions here.
Sounds like the front struts are toast, but my concern is that something might be broken. Can you take pics of the strut assembly, the top of the tower (under the hood) and the strut (with the wheel off and the suspension hanging)?
Probably a pain in the butt, but will be helpful.
Also, where are you located? Let's see if we can find you a knowledgeable helper nearby!