That Little Girl
This Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of a little boy who gave the world hope, I would like to share a story that illustrates the true reason for the season. It’s a story of hope that changed my life and the lives of three young children.
She was born in Willits, California on May 13, 1950; given up for adoption at the age of four; placed in four foster homes; prayed every afternoon that God would provide a family that, in her words, "would want me and love me"; vividly remembers that rainy day in 1955, as she was saying her prayers while looking out the picture window of her fourth foster parent's home, when she noticed a black car approaching; a man and woman got out of the car, with the man opening the back door and helping a little boy out; the woman joined her husband while cradling an infant child in her arms; the couple approached the front door and asked to meet the little girl in the window; the foster parents welcomed the adults and two children into their home and called for the little girl; the little girl approached the man and woman; they hugged her, saying, "We love you and want you to be our daughter"; Bill and Gladys Bryant, at the age of 39 and without children, adopted a daughter and two sons on that rainy day in California.
The two boys were that little girl's brothers - two year old Larry and baby Frank - who had been separated from her and placed into foster care; when Bill and Gladys Bryant went to California to adopt the four year old girl, they were told of her two brothers and decided to adopt all three. Bill and Gladys raised a beautiful and bright daughter who became the pride of their lives. I met that little girl in 1973 while she was attending college in Atlanta; we had three dates and three months later we were married; she nurtured me through the tough years of our marriage; she brought three beautiful children into this world - Ashley, Amy and Austin – who are the loves of her life. I thank God every day that Bill and Gladys Bryant adopted that little girl in 1955. Their act of courage and compassion gave me the greatest gift of life - Jeanne - my wife, best friend and hero.
I believe the true meaning of living a spirit filled life is being a part of something greater than self. It's that Little Boy's legacy and I'm blessed that Bill and Gladys Bryant followed Him.
My prayer for you and your family is that 2011 be a year of peace, prosperity, and significance.
The Bryant Family
A special note: On the day of their adoption, all the possessions of Jeanne and her two brothers were in the little suitcase shown in the opening photo.