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Do You Believe in Miracles? One Family's Journey Led to an Unexpected Future

Brooklyn-Age 5

This week's story is about the Russo family's emotional journey from a chance meeting with two little girls to growing a beautiful forever family.

Sami and Brian's compassion for helping children in need led them to the Collins Home for a time. But when tragedy struck, they struggled to understand God's plan.

"Do you believe in miracles? I do, and it was in the moment when we most despaired that God showed us His ability to do the impossible." -Sami Russo

The Moment We Met Our Daughters

Do you believe in miracles? I do, and it was in the moment when we most despaired that God showed us His ability to do the impossible.

Let me tell you our story. My name is Sami. My husband’s name is Brian. We have three beautiful children; Brooklyn, Katie, and Phoenix.

We will never forget the moment we met our daughters for the first time. They were 3 and 5 years old – living in an emergency shelter for children removed from their homes.

Katie-Age 3

Katie could barely speak and seemed very sad and scared.

But Brooklyn was full of life and energy. She came running across the room and jumped in my arms. Then with a big smile on her face, she asked, “Are you here to play with me?”

Instantly, we knew that we wanted to foster these girls.

They came to live with us and we had such a great time with them. We were blessed to meet the girls’ biological family when we transported them to their visits.

We were in the courtroom when the judge decided to let them go home to their mom. We were sad to see them go, but we stayed in their lives helping their family as much as possible.

Hoping the Girls Could Live At Collins Home

We became house parents at Collins Children’s Home during this time.

Collins Home is much different than emergency shelters because it’s like a real home. Every child has his or her personal space – a huge contrast to many shelters where kids almost seem stacked on top of each other.

The girls’ mom was still struggling so we told her she could voluntarily place the girls at Collins Home until she could get back on her feet.

She brought the girls to visit and see what a wonderful place it is to live.

She even let us take them on a short summer vacation, but she could not bring herself to voluntarily place her children.

Sadly, it was only a matter of time before they were taken away from her again by DSS.

At this point, we lost all contact.

No one would tell us where the girls had been placed and we were unable to reach their mother. We cried and prayed for them…desperately hoping to find them again.

"Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing." -Wayne Dyer

Tragedy and Pain Led to Amazing Things

We continued caring for foster children in another setting. A night we will never forget, one of the little girls we were fostering was killed in a tragic car crash. It was as if everything was lost. We didn’t understand God’s plan in all of this.

We continued working with children but it was a very hard year for us. It was a time of deep mourning.

Then, some amazing things happened.

First, I became pregnant!

And second, we got a phone call that would change our lives once again.

Friends of ours, who had known the little girl who died, were inspired to start a ministry. Their Butterfly Ministry encourages girls who live in foster care group homes by giving them an American Girl doll.

After a visit to Collins Home, our friend told us that when one little girl received a doll she saw a picture of us and said, “Those are my foster parents! Can you please call them for me?”

Immediately we contacted Collins Home and they confirmed the “little girl” was our Brooklyn!

Brian and I were finally reunited with our girls. We were then able to contact their mother and she asked us to adopt them.

Our Family is Now Complete

Our family is now complete.

Brooklyn is 13, Katie is 11 and Phoenix will turn 2 on Christmas day.

Two years ago, our whole family came together because God performed a miracle – using people who are willing to follow His direction.

We never would have found our girls if everyone involved had not been open to His plan for their lives. Thank you!

We are forever grateful for our forever family. Yes, I believe in miracles!

And I believe God uses ministries like Collins Children’s Home to show His love and compassion. I’m so thankful for people with caring and generous hearts who support this ministry.

Collins Home Needs Houseparents

God has a plan. He has identified our future Collins Home houseparents, but we don't know who they are yet! Maybe after reading the Russo family's story, a great couple popped into your mind with a love for God and a heart for children.

Do you know someone in your life that has wanted to foster children? Being Collins Home houseparents may be their opportunity to realize their dream.

What Can You Do to Help the Collins Kids?

We know how much you love the Collins Kids and care about the children in the community waiting to come to Collins Children's Home.

Please, help us get the word out for our need for houseparent couples.

If you know a couple that may be interested, contact us at 864-882-0893.

Learn more about becoming a Collins Home houseparent couple, here.

Thank you for your continued love and support of the Collins Children's Home children and our future Collins kids.

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