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Adopting Anika has been a dream come true for our entire family! Before Doug and I were ever married, Doug made a promise that we would one day adopt a little girl. We have always discussed with our children the possibility of adopting. Mason and Bowen were excited about being able to help a child that was in need of a home and a loving family. Adelaine has prayed for a baby sister for as long as any of us can remember. This has been a desire of our hearts for a very long time for each of us.

This is our story of how God used something so tragic to bring Anika to us…

Going to China to get our brown-eyed girl had always been our plan. I prayed many nights, for many years for that little girl. In fact, one particular night during the summer of 1995, I woke up from a deep sleep. It felt like someone was pulling me out of bed to pray, so I did. That special night I felt God speak to my heart. He promised He would give me this brown-eyed, dark-haired girl that I had so longed for. Little did I know that she wouldn’t be born for 9 1/2 more years, and that God would keep her safely tucked away in Tampa, Florida for 4 more years after that!

While Adelaine was still in treatment for cancer, something began to happen in my heart. I started praying that if we were never going to China to adopt a baby that God would take that desire away. Eventually He did, it didn’t happen overnight, but eventually it did happen. One day I just woke up and realized that the desire was completely gone! Then I began to realize that maybe the dark-eyed, dark-haired little girl that had grown in my heart so many years ago was not Chinese at all.

Soon after, Doug and I began taking the required classes in Tampa to foster a child (with the intent of adopting). On January 11, 2009, we met a very special little girl who needed a mother’s love and a family. On January 14th, she came to stay for a visit with us in our home. The first night she was with us, while I was checking on her she woke up. The light shown just enough that I could see her face, when she looked up at me, I knew. I knew that this was the little girl God had promised to me that night so many years ago. After 13 years of waiting, wondering, praying, God has brought her to us. He has delivered His promise in a way that I could never have dreamed of…

During our cancer journey, we met a wonderful couple, Brad and Kat Evers, at the Children’s Cancer Center in Tampa. They had two boys and were in the process of adopting two sisters, Sesly and Misty. About two years later, even though Sesly had been diagnosed with Leukemia, they took in another baby girl, Mary. (All three girls have since been adopted)!

Cancer brought our two families together. Kat and I became like sisters. After sharing our desire to adopt, she and Brad began watching our children so that we could take the foster classes! Shortly after we graduated for class, God did something truly amazing. As it turned out, baby Mary had a full-biological sister. We adopted baby Mary Evers’ sister, Anika. Now our two families really are related!

Adelaine’s cancer took her through the dark valley, but God was with her, He carried her. What was waiting at the end of that road? An answer to a little girl’s prayer, a dream come true, a promise fulfilled. It wasn’t just the end of a long journey for Adelaine, but it was the end of a long journey for Anika as well. Anika will never have to wish for a mommy and a daddy or a family to love her. Doug and I are thankful beyond words to have all four of our children finally here, finally home and finally healthy. We are excited about our new life together!

We are excited to share this new chapter of life after the long journey!


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