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The Power of Love: The Terwiliger Family

Abbie Terwiliger is my name, and I am married to a wonderful man named Mike, who works for the Waycross (Georgia) Police Department. We have, between us, 10 wonderful children that God brought into our lives. (I am a homemaker.)

Our children come from places like Africa, India, Greece, and Russia, and all are considered "special-needs". They all have handicaps or problems that have affected every aspect of their young lives, and because of it, they have been abandoned by their birth parents. Our children are named:
Xaviar (1--AIDS; he is from Africa), Devina (2--spina bifida; she, too, is from Africa), Candace (3--congenital amputee of one of her arms; she is from Russia), Nikodemus (4--blind; he is from Greece), twins Chandra and Adhita (both 6--they are both dwarfs, and they came to us from India), Finn (7)*, Gabriel (8)*, Johanna (9)*, and Kris (11)*. *The last four are our own, and they, like the adopted contingent, have their health needs as well.* Finn, our youngest, has allergies and asthma (as does Gabriel), and Johanna and Kris both have learning disabilities and cerebral palsy (Kris only; Johanna doesn't have CP).

We have started adopting special-needs kids because so many need homes or families willing to take on their special needs and love them as their own. Too many of these beautiful kids are languishing in hospitals, orphanages, or foster homes with no hope or future; and that is so sad. We are ones who wanted to help alleviate the problem somewhat, and so we did as any good and caring Christian should do: ACT. We decided to take in children nobody else wanted, and God saw to fulfilling our dream in a big way.

As you can imagine, our house is full of chaos, confusion, and even joy. Our children have brought us so many moments of incredible joy and laughter, and even some uncertainty and heartbreak; but through it all, God has been there for us, and He has let us get through the valleys of life that we couldn't have without His Help.

Our children are our world, and we have been blessed to have met many other adoptive families through annual adoption seminars and picnics put on by Holt International; and we have made many wonderful friends. We have met people from Tennessee (the Sanduskys and Reichards from Nashville, and the Diamonds from Memphis), the Pearsons of Fort Worth, Texas (they just added two Cambodian sisters, ages 4 1/2 and 13, to their family; before then, the two girls were staying with the Sanduskys), the Breaux family from Lafayette, Louisiana, the Yanceys from Pennsylvania, the Porters from Eugene, Oregon, and the Evanses from Columbus, Ohio; and many more. All these couples took on kids that society abandoned or didn't want to have anything to do with; and they have turned these courageous kids' lives around in a dramatic fashion. Many of these kids have heartbreaking (or even terminal) conditions, and it is wonderful to see the love and joy that flows within these family units.

It clearly shows that God is in control, and it is gratifying to know that there are so many caring people in this mean world. God is alive, and these children are living proof of that.

And it is so gratifying to know that He would want us to be a "Forever Family". What better way to show a needy child love and security than to offer them your home or your heart? (C) Karen Lynn Vidra , The Texas Tornado  

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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

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