NACOGDOCHES, TX (KLTV) - The daughters of convicted murderer Kyle Barnhill have a new last name. Adoption papers make it official after their mother was killed by their father back in 2009.
Melissa Barnhill was shot through her kitchen window, while her two small daughters were just a room away. Kyle Barnhill was convicted of her murder in September 2009.
In a jailhouse interview, he confessed to our Jena Johnson that he murdered his estranged wife.
No one will fully understand what 13-year-old Kyla Alders and her little sister Karys have been through. They were both in their Nacogdoches home the night a single shot through a kitchen window ended their mother's life.
In a jailhouse interview two years ago with Kyle Barnhill, Jena asked him about his daughters.
"I feel horrible about it. How do you think I would feel? It's a tragedy anyway you cut it," he said. "You know those two little girls, I'm sure are frightened for their future."
At the time of the murder, Nicole and David Alders were very close to the girls and their mother, Melissa. They took Kyla and Karys in as their own children.
"I really think that the events of March 11, 2009 have been overtaken by God's grace," said David Alders.
This week in court, Kyle gave up his parental rights. Before doing so, he said no one on the planet loves his girls more.
"That isn't completely true because of what happened," said Kyla.
Kyla was an eye witness at her mother's murder trial. She testified she tried to help save her mother. A memory the Alders have helped the girls cope with.
"The relinquishment of parental rights was a means to an end. Our desire was simply to adopt," said David.
The girls now have six siblings. Six-year-old Karys says she fits right in.
"I do folding and I sweep the floor and I sort the silverware drawer," said Karys.
What was once a family of four separated by a brutal crime: a mother killed, a father serving life in prison and two little girls forced to start over with a new family. Now, it's a bright beginning.
"God has been gracious to us turning something that was really ugly into something that's a huge blessing to us and our future," said David.
By Kyle letting go of his daughters, Klya says it lets her and her sister move on.
"I think that really showed that he loves me now, a lot more than he did," said Kyla.
The Alders say they are forever grateful to the East Texas community for showing their love and support. They look forward to watching Kyla and Karys grow up.