When two foster kids sent up a prayer request in a balloon, they never though they would see it again. Now their prayers have been answered with a new home for the holidays.
Foster children, Eva and Jasmine, shared the same Christmas wish. A wish they had been thinking about long before the holiday season.
"We want to be adopted by our new mommy and daddy on Christmas," an adult helped them write on an index card.
During Vacation Bible School at their East Tennessee church this summer, the girls, ages 7 and 8, sent up their written prayer request in a balloon. At the time, they had only lived with foster parents, Dennis and Lynn, for two months. But the girls had already made up their minds.
"Because they loved me and took care of me," said Jasmine, 8.
"We took all of the prayer requests and we sealed them in a little zip lock bag. We took them outside and released these balloons," said Lynn, the girl's foster parents at the time. "There were 30 of them. The girls' balloon is the only one to this day that has come back to us."
The balloon traveled from their church all the way to McHenry, Maryland. It landed in an RV park and the folks there quickly mailed it back.
"I can just see God taking this balloon and blowing it in the right direction to be found and be sent back to us to tell us he approves for us to be able to adopt these girls," said Lynn.
Dennis and Lynn wanted to give the girls a forever home. Dennis said there was very little discussion.
"It just felt like the right thing to do. It's what I wanted to do. All of our children—five total—are grown in their 30s," Dennis said.
Dennis and Lynn developed a relationship with the girls at church while they were being fostered by a family friend for more than a year, Jimmie Dean McClure.
"The girls got to know them real good and fell in love with them," said McClure.
Dennis and Lynn said they do not know much about the girls' past, but they know it wasn't easy and they didn't have the childhood they deserved.
The foster parents wanted to make the girls' Christmas wish come true. With some extra effort from Omni Visions Adoption Agency and the Department of Children's Services, Knox County Judge Harold Wimberly made it official Tuesday.
In their brand new Sunday dresses, the girls told Judge Wimberly they wanted to live with Dennis and Lynn
A gift better than any Christmas present: a mom and dad to call their own.
"I love you," said Eva, 7, as she hugged her new parents.
If you are interested in fostering or adopting, visit Omni Visions website for more information.