Gift of Love: Diedre Finds Forever Family - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/06/08 - Winnsboro

Gift of Love: Diedre Finds Forever Family

October, 2006, Diedre, a local foster child, is featured on KLTV's "Gift of Love" report. "We all watched it together and as soon as it was over, Geno said, 'Call them', and I was like, call them. He said, 'Call them tomorrow' and that night we had a very lengthy discussion about adoption," says Lisa Hill.

With much prayer, Geno and Lisa hill, along with their biological son Collin, began the process of making Dierdre a part of their family.

"When I first came they didn't hold anything back. They treated me like an actual daughter." recalls Diedre.

Geno says, "We go back to that we just think this is what God had planned." Lisa adds, "And we didn't want to see another child in their teens age out of the system."

Talking about Dierdre's past and what she's been through at such a young age was very sobering for Collin. "It just kind of opens your eyes to what else is really out there," he says.

Right from the start Diedre fit in, even having a striking resemblance to her new mother. And the love began to grow. Tearing up Lisa says, "You just can't put that in words. It's indescribable."

"I know this is my real true home so that weight has just been lifted off my shoulders and that just feels wonderful," says Diedre with a smile.

This teenager was determined, knowing exactly what she wanted. "For one, that they're a Christian family. I need that support. I need that spiritual support that will lift me up and help me in my walk toward God."

Just this past November it was official. For the first in her life Diedre finally got the parents she's always dreamed of. "My dad is that protector. He just lifts me up and that's how wonderful he is. And my mom, oh she's here everyday I just love her."

But there was an adjustment period for the entire family. Collin says, "It wasn't hard but it wasn't easy. It was just different."

Lisa says, "And the difficulties and the challenges just make you love each other even more. It's just like being in a marriage, you wouldn't trade those things for anything. It's what bonds you together. So I couldn't imagine not having her."

Diedre admits letting go of her abusive past, excepting the loss of her biological parents. The Hills identify with her pain. In 2001 they lost a daughter, named McKenna, to a lengthy illness. They say Dierdre has helped bring joy back into their home.

"It hasn't been one sided. It hasn't been that Diedra has gained everything. You know things in us have been healed. It's been full circle, definitely," says Geno.

"McKenna will always be my little sister but she's not here on this earth anymore and so Deidre means a whole lot, having her as a sister," says Collin.

The Hills will never forget the night they first saw Diedra on TV. "We are very grateful for the Gift of Love. We always watched it. So for us to find the child that we were supposed to adopt from the Gift of Love, I didn't expect that to happened that way but we were excited that it did," say Lisa.

And all of their lives have now been changed forever. Looking at her new family Diedre says, "I love you all very much and I'm grateful that you are here and I'm very glad that God has put this together, very grateful."

The next big step in Deidre's life is turning 16 in March and getting her drivers license.

For more information on fostering or adoption call our Gift of Love hotline, toll-free, 1-888-kids-275.

Gillian Sheridan Reporting from Winnsboro

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