Moved by a dream, Nanette Garrett adopted a Ukrainian girl but later discovered a heartbreaking background story that made her adopt her older sister. Get inside the emotional story.
Nanette Garrett and her husband Vern Garrett, a Utah couple, always wanted a large family. They were already parents to seven children but wanted to add to their big family.
However, after trying so hard without success to conceive, the couple decided to find other means to have an eighth child. One of the means they considered was adoption.
IT BEGAN WITH A DREAM
Although Nanette and Vern considered adoption an option, it took a dream to push them to follow through with that move. While sleeping, Nanette dreamed about a little girl sitting on her lap one night.
Instantly, she knew the girl was hers. She described the girl in her dream as about two or three years old, adding that it was very distinct. Nanette said:
"Emily was her name, and she was given to me in that dream. I just knew that I was going to have a little Emily."
THE COUPLE HEADS TO EUROPE
Shortly after Nanette's dream, she and Vern received a pamphlet containing information about adoptions in Ukraine and Russia. Nanette believed the pamphlet was a sign for her to find the girl in her dream. Hence, she and her husband flew to Ukraine to find her.
When they got to Ukraine, they went to the National Adoption Center and searched. They were given several books to look through at the center for hours.
Nanette and Vern had searched for a long time when she came across a picture of a girl closely resembling the one she saw in her dream. Later, in 2002, they adopted the girl and named her Emily.
EMILY'S REACTION TO BEING ADOPTED
Emily's adoption went smoothly, and she instantly connected with her new parents. However, Vern suspected there was something amiss about her.
He noticed that she had shed sad tears as they left the orphanage. Vern explained:
"She was very somber, not really emotional but a little tear, so I knew there was something going on."
THE REASON FOR EMILY'S REACTION
It took six months for Vern and Nanette to understand why Emily felt like she did when they left the orphanage. Six months after they had adopted her, they received an unexpected letter from her older sister, Elizabeth.
Emily when she was a little girl. Source: youtube.com/Andreash2550
As it turned out, Elizabeth was devastated by her younger sister's adoption. However, it was not because she did not want a better life for her, but she feared they would never see each other again.
In Elizabeth's letter, she thanked Nanette and Vern for adopting Emily and taking care of her and expressed love for them despite never seeing them.
A BIGGER FAMILY
The Utah couple was moved by the contents of Elizabeth's letter and decided to adopt her too. Ignoring the high cost of another European adoption, they traveled to Ukraine to adopt Elizabeth.
Nanette and Vern traveled to Ukraine with Emily, who became excited when she saw her sister at the terminal. Vern described the beautiful moment:
"We were walking down the terminal, and Elizabeth suddenly identified Emily and just broke into a dead run. They came to each other and embraced, and without exaggerating I would say it's a good minute that they held each other."
It all started as a dream, but the couple's will to help children across the globe made them decide to start a charity foundation.
Their Save a Child Founation is now helping to change the lives of many children. And by deciding to adopt Elizabeth, Vern and Nanette reunited two sisters and gave them new hope.