Despite what you see on TV or in movies, no one on this planet has the picture-perfect family.
Whether you have a half dozen brothers and sisters or you’re an only child, your family has probably had its fair share of hiccups. While some people aren’t exactly close to their biological families, they find comfort and solace in friends and other people in their life that create a different type of family bond. When there’s a real bond between someone, it isn’t something that needs to be defined. Nannette and Vern Garrett know a thing or two about that.
Nannette and Vern were already the proud parents of six healthy children, but despite having the family they had always dreamed of, they both felt like something was missing in their lives.
As the couple began looking into adoption, Nanette had a dream that led her and her husband to make the journey to Ukraine to visit the National Adoption Center. They wanted to adopt a child that hadn’t had the best of lives and give them a second chance at having a happy family.
Nannette and Vern spent hours rummaging through photographs of kids waiting to be adopted, but one image stood out from all the rest. While most of the children in the photos were smiling, one little girl with a bow in her hair had a somber look that really spoke to the hardships she had endured.
The couple eventually flew off to the orphanage where the little girl was living and began the adoption process. The girl, Emily, instantly formed a connection with her would-be parents. Unknown to the Garretts, while Emily was joining a new family, she was leaving behind a close family member who was like a mother to her.
Emily had an older sister, Elizabeth, who looked after Emily and acted as a mother figure for the young girl. Prior to their placement in the orphanage, Elizabeth did whatever it took to make sure her younger sibling was taken care of.
During the adoption process, Elizabeth praised the Garretts and thanked them for giving her younger sister a second chance at happiness. This letter tugged at their heartstrings, so the couple hopped on a plane to meet with the unsuspecting Elizabeth.
After meeting her formally, the Garretts made the decision to accept the young woman as part of their family. There was an instant connection with the 15-year-old that felt quite similar to the one they had with Emily.
Having their own happily ever after, the Garretts made the decision to start the Save A Child Foundation, a non-profit organization that brings a group of orphans kids from Ukraine over to the U.S. to be hosted by families. These host situations often end in adoption. Learn more about the organization, as well as Elizabeth and Emily’s story below.
(via Eternally Sunny)