Gift of Love: Special Girl Finds Her Forever Family - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/22/06 - East Texas

Gift of Love: Special Girl Finds Her Forever Family

Several years ago we introduced you to a young girl named Brittane. This special needs foster child was looking for a forever family. Recently, something happened that would change her life forever. We have an update in this Gift of Love report.

It was August, 2002 when we first did a story on an adorable 10 year old girl named Brittnea. Because of neglect, she ended up in foster care.

Now, 3 and a half years later, she has found her forever family. "She is the most loving child you will ever see in this life," says her new mom as Brittnea kisses her on the cheek. "We just fell in love with her," says Larry, her new dad.

For Larry and Evelyn, it was love at first sight. Evelyn says, "When Larry opened the front door and Brittnea jumped in his arms and hugged his neck he started crying and I was like, got ya!" Larry adds, "She had me at hello."

Brittnea, now almost 14 years old, has some special needs, but to her new parents she's just a beautiful young girl. "A lot of people would consider Brittnea unadoptable because of her cerebral palsy and her mental retardation. They're adoptable. They have love. They bring love to your home," says Evelyn looking proudly at her new daughter.

"People say, 'You're doing a great thing.' I say, 'No, we're getting the blessing out of it,'" says Larry.

For them, the decision to adopt was a calling. "The Lord put it in my heart to look at this little girl. I'm thinking, no, but he said adopt. Not foster, we're talking adopt here," says Evelyn. Larry goes on to say, "If God's in it, then it's right and we prayed about it long and hard before we decided to go through the adoption process."

Brittnea now experiences new adventures every day. Like learning to care for their baby goat, Lucky. She is now able to eat solid food and feed herself. She is learning to dress herself and Evelyn is teaching her sign language. "She picks up signing very quickly. She is trying to talk more now."

Brittnea is becoming an independent teenager, with her own room. "That's her place. So, if she wants to turn the light on and off that's OK, that's her space," says Evelyn.

And like most teenagers, she jumps when the phone rings as we found out during our interview. "May I have the phone please, Brittnea?," asks her mother.

Brittnea has brought a lot of laughter into this home, keeping Evelyn and Larry young. "Everybody wants a cute cuddly baby. Kids this age are pretty awesome. They really are," says Evelyn.

From 2002 to today, the love this little girl has to give has only grown and the love she is now receiving will last forever.

Evelyn says, "I couldn't love her more if I'd given birth to her. She is our child. I have referred to her as our daughter since I met her." Larry says, "I'd hate to think of a day without her. She brings so much joy," says Larry.

Larry and Evelyn are no strangers to being parents. They have four biological children, 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

If you're interested in adoption call our Gift of Love hotline. The toll free number is 1-888-kids-275.

Gillian Sheridan reporting.

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