A San Antonio couple said they were simply following God’s plan when a divine intervention led them to adopt two young children from horrific circumstances.
Allen and LaKenya Shaw had been praying for and desiring a family for 17 years, but their dream didn’t come true until a stranger listened to a voice in her head, reports the San Antonio Express-News.
Theresa Nealy, a foster mother of 20-plus years, had no idea that LaKenya, 38, was aching for a family of her own after recently suffering a miscarriage. At the time, she had never met the Shaws when she saw them in church back in 2016.
Nealy explained to the Express-News:
“In my mind I heard God say, ‘Those are the parents I have chosen for those children.'”
At the time, she had rescued Josiah, 4, and his sister Naomi, 3, from one of the county’s most egregious cases of child abuse.
The two toddlers were found starved, surrounded by their own feces, chained in their backyard, and tied to a dog leash, reports KSAT.
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From that day, Nealy told the Shaws about the children’s need for a “forever home,” though she was totally unaware of the couple’s desire for a family. LaKenya told Fox News:
“All I could hear from God was ‘these are your babies.’ When we met those children, they knew us and we them, it was an instant connection and so evident God had purposefully connected us.”
When she had learned that the kids could have died in the yard, she said:
“All I could think is ‘Why would anyone do that to a child?’ All we wanted to do was love them and give them a safe place, and dealing with their trauma — God just gave us the grace to deal with them and be patient with them. We could tell they were sweet and precious kids, but they’ve been through a lot.”
“All God gave us was love for them.”
She told the Express-News:
“We had been praying and desiring children.”
After Nealy introduced the couple to the children, they shortly began the adoption process while Josiah and Naomi’s mother was convicted and sentenced to jail for child abuse. The mother was pregnant when she was sentenced.
The Shaws ended up adopting baby Reed, the child she had while incarcerated.
After a two-year process, on May 31, 2018, the three siblings — now 7, 5, and 2 — were officially adopted.
Nealy is now raising money online to help the Shaws buy a “forever home” for their “forever family.”
The children’s biological mother, Cheryl Reed, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to the Express-News.
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