Gift of Love:Forever Family Found Online - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

3/1/06-Texas

Gift of Love:Forever Family Found Online

Many East Texas children have been adopted after being seen on KLTV 7 News at 10 on Wednesday nights. Still other children have been adopted after potential parents saw them on our web site. In this Gift of Love report we meet a family who did just that, and found their children on line.

Spending time together is something these siblings don't take for granted. Fredric and Audrey spent the first half of their lives in foster care in East Texas.

"I'm sure every kids like, 'Why me?,' especially at my age. You get attached to your parents you know and then you're taken away," says Fredric, who was 7 years old when he was placed in foster care.

"I didn't really know what was going on then when I was 6. I was like, oh, this is my family and then finally when I moved out of that home I was like, oh, what's going on here. I was scared. I was nervous, you know, what am I doing," explains Audrey, who was placed in care at just 5 months old.

What happened next, would change their lives forever. "I found them on the Internet. I just kept coming back to them and something's telling me, these are the kids," says Laverne, their new mom.

But convincing Laverne's husband, Robert, would not be easy. They were two professionals; Robert, a high school principal and Laverne, a doctor. After five years, Robert finally gave in. "She told me when I decided to do this that her life just wasn't complete. The inability to have children, all of her accomplishments didn't matter much. She wanted to be a mother."

Laverne's wish came true, January of 2000 when they became a family. "This is one of the greatest things that's every happened to me. If this hadn't happened to me, I don't know what I could do or what I'm capable of doing," says Fredric, now 20 years old.

"I wouldn't have all the grateful things that I do have knowing that I did come out of a hole but now I'm on top of the mountain," says Audrey, now 13 years old.

Audrey has blossomed, turning into a star athlete. Laverne says, "Audrey is always very lovable and she shows her feelings easily and it's always nice when she comes and gives me a hug and writes me little notes telling me she loves me." Audrey adds, "I love them to death."

Fredric has been transformed from a young man into a marine, following in his new mom and dad's footsteps. "The true family tradition has been instilled in them and he's now serving his country proudly and we're extremely proud and blessed and fortunate to have been a part of their lives," says Robert.

After years of hesitation, Robert is now an advocate for adoption, telling anyone who will listen. "It's not easy but they are two examples of what can be done when you share love whether with, biological or not, children that need love. If it turns out this way every time, everyone should do it."

As Audrey's big brother prepares to head off to war, she and her family will cherish every last minute they spend together, awaiting his safe return. "I've been prepped to what I need to do and I'm ready to do what I have to do," says Fredric bravely.

"I feel really scared for him because I've grown up with him and we're like blood and if anything did happen to him it would hurt," says Audrey.

His new mom says, "I'm real proud of him and we'll pray for him."

His new dad says, "He believes in this country. He believes in our mission. He's ready to go. He's as ready to go to Iraq as I was to Vietnam and it's that courage of American to get this done. May God be with him."

Since we did this interview, Fredric is now in Iraq serving his country and, no doubt, thinking of his family back home here in Texas.

If you have missed any of our Gift of Love reports on Wednesday nights, we post all of our profiles on our web site kltv.com. Or, you can call our Gift of Love hotline, toll free, 1-888-kids-275.

Gillian Sheridan reporting.

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