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A trip to the hospital when I was twenty-four came with the grim conclusion that I would never be able to have a child.

I was devastated. It felt like a sentence to a life of misery and unhappiness. I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself, and then I just got on with life and immersed myself in my career, and of course got a cat!

Life certainly works in mysterious ways. I was enjoying running my own business and meeting many wonderful people. My business was my life. One day I met Jeff and Amanda. I had noticed them before and on this occasion, I introduced myself. As it turned out, Jeff was a single father raising his one-year-old on his own. I had an instant respect for him. Through the years, I unofficially became Amanda’s big sister. I would take her for weekends and days here and there and pick her up from school if Jeff could not make it. We formed such a special bond; she became my special baby!

In July 2008, I went over to Jeff’s to pick up Amanda for a day at the beach. As I approached, I could see yellow police tape wrapped around their home. I raced in to see what was going on, was stopped by the police and told I would have to leave and call the detachment for information.

In all of my life, nothing could have prepared me for what had unfolded just a few hours earlier. At 6 a.m., a man broke into the home and beat Jeff with a baseball bat, with Amanda just a few steps away. She was unharmed, physically. In all of my life, I will never know what that did to her.

Jeff left orders for Amanda to be taken to me in the event that anything ever happened to him. I had no idea. I was glad that he would trust me with his baby.

Jeff was not expected to live. He came out of a coma two months later and it is a miracle that he is here today. Unfortunately, he cannot move from the neck down, but miraculously he is mentally in the here and now. He has been in a care facility and will remain there for now. Amanda is six years old and she is doing so well considering all the trauma she has gone through.

There are emotional times for her and me, but they are very different feelings. For me, I still cannot get over the fact that someone could commit such a senseless crime, and when I look at Jeff and talk with him, I am so consumed with sadness because I cannot imagine going through what he is going through. For her, she misses her daddy!

It is all so new to me, having a child full time, but I did not have to think twice about it! Now, we are hoping for another miracle—when Jeff can hold his baby again!


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