When a man found a few bags outside a church office in Florida, he thought it was a donation. However, he saw two children and their mother hiding nearby upon closer inspection.
Mark Purcell thought a few bags near an office door were donations for the ministry, but when he took a closer look, he discovered something unexpected—he saw two dirty kids in diapers who looked like they needed some help.
The kids were not clothed as they sat outside on a cold day in 2016. They were brothers, and the eldest was two years old while the other was only seven months old. Purcell also noticed something from the corner of his eye.
A couple and the two kids they planned to adopt | Photo: youtube.com/FOX 13 Tampa Bay
THEY KNEW THE FAMILY
A woman was crouched over in the corner. He soon discovered she was the mother of the abandoned children, and he learned they had been living in a tent in the woods. Pastor Ronnie Stewart and his wife Krystal recognized the family.
They would often eat at a nearby church's soup kitchen, and the Stewarts offered to take the children home for a much-needed bath. Krystal shared:
"They were covered in bug bites, head to toe. They were so filthy, that we actually had to bathe, and drain, and bathe again two different times."
THE LIFE-CHANGING REQUEST
Their offer to clean up the kids quickly became more significant. One day as they left a church service, the kids' parents walked up to them with a life-changing request.
A social worker accompanied them as the parents asked the Stewart family to look after their children. The pastor and his wife didn't have much time to decide, but one look was all they needed to agree to the request.
OFFICIALLY ADOPTING THE BOYS
After a few months, they were given full custody, and they were also making plans to adopt the kids officially. It was a significant life change that came with various challenges.
The pastor said: "We had to get a bigger car, a car that seats seven! It takes a little longer to get out of the house." Despite this, the couple was thrilled to be a part of the boys' journey and honored to raise them.
ANOTHER COUPLE ADOPTS SIBLINGS
Adoption can change a child's life forever, just like it did for the two boys adopted by the Stewart family. Angela and Elliott Turbeville fostered a family of six siblings for two years before they surprised them with the best Christmas gift last year.
The siblings found out they were heading to the courthouse for their official adoption. They were in tears and couldn't wait to have "Turbeville" as their surname.
The Stewart and Turbeville families opened their hearts and made the world a better place, especially for the children they welcomed into their homes.