|This is not a picture of C's family, but it is so cute, I had to steal it from Pinterest!|
Thank God for my terrible memory. A few weeks ago, my friend C bought a copy of Charles' book and gave it to me to bring home to have Charles sign it for her.
I have seen her several times since then and always forgot to bring the signed book with me. So last time we saw each other, we made a lunch date so I could bring her the book. Today, I drove out to the Mendenhall Valley to meet her for lunch and realized I forgot the book once again. So, back to Douglas I went to get the book and I drove back out to the valley for noon Mass and lunch with C. I am really glad it worked out this way, because I got to know her a little bit more today.
C and I first met at a women's weight loss support group. Meeting the women in the group has been fun, and has been a motivation for me to be more mindful of my eating habits and exercise regimen. But our meetings are too short and sporadic to really get to know each other on a deeper level.
So, back to today's lunch...
During our conversation, I asked C about her kids. She has seven, one from her first marriage, one with her current husband and five that she and her husband adopted. After C had her second son, she and her husband really wanted to adopt a baby girl. They applied for adoption and soon their social worker called and told them that there were two children that needed adoption, a boy and a girl, not infants. Christy and her husband decided to go for it, and soon had two additional kids. Before the adoptions were final, the social worker arranged a visitation with the children's three older sisters, who were still looking for families. Christy and her husband met the older girls and after much prayer and an announcement from their second oldest son that "God told me that we have to save these kids", they decided to adopt the whole family - five children total.
The kids came from a terrible situation: drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, sexual abuse... these poor kids had experienced it all.
C, her husband, and their two oldest kids welcomed the family with open arms and loving hearts. The kids, now ranging in age from 7 to 14, are affected by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, ADD, Asperger Syndrome, anxiety and PTSD. They struggle with school, so they have decided to home school them next year in their new home (they are moving out of Juneau for her husband's job).
Every time I see C, she looks serene and happy. She is delighted with her children and her new grandbaby (her oldest son, now 21, is a new father). She is excited about the new chapter in her life, moving to a new town and helping her kids adjust. She is beautiful, inside and out.
I wish now that I had spent more time with her, and taken the opportunity to get to know her better. But my short lunch date with her made me realize that she is an extraordinary person.
She and her husband and sons answered the prayers of five small children for a safe home and a loving family. They listened to God's voice asking them to "save these kids". Who knows what the lives of these children would have been like if it hadn't been for the courage of C, her husband and her sons.
I am so grateful that I got to hear her story today, so I wanted to share it with you. Please keep C and her family in your prayers as they continue their journey together.