A Chance to Live Again

October 30th, 2013 by Christina Martinez

George and Caroline Harnden are no strangers to adoption. Already parents to five biological children their hearts knew there was still room for more and adopted six more children. When Jessica first came to their home she was just three years old. Her previous home severely neglected her at birth, at times letting her go days without food. When she first came to them her communication was delayed and at age three was only speaking like a one-year-old. But now, through the love and care of her adoptive parents, Jessica is 16, healthy and thriving!

Jessica’s father, George, contacted us because Jessica had a story she wanted to share with the world – her story. Her life was completely changed through her adoption and she wanted others to know the difference they can make when they bring children into their home. When we read what Jessica had to say we thought it only fitting you hear her story from Jessica herself. So without further adieu, meet Jessica Harnden…

Jessica Harnden was first adopted when she was three years old

Jessica Harnden was first adopted when she was three years old

Hello! My name is Jessica and I was three-years-old when I came to my family. I’ve been through a lot I might say, but I know there are others that have been through a lot more than I have. I’m where I am right now because of God. If God had not saved me from my situation I would not be here. I’m grateful to my family for taking me in, and putting up with me. I know God rescued me from that terrible situation because He has a purpose for me – a big plan to give me another chance. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “’I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.’”

 I realize that if God saw fit to give me another chance He also wants to give everyone else a chance. Every one of the kids that are in foster care, every one of the kids that are orphans – God has a special purpose for them all. A purpose that only they can fulfill. No one else can take their place and no one else can walk in their shoes. And by you considering adoption or taking in foster kids, you are helping them achieve their purpose. God wants to give them a second chance, not just because He created them, but also because most of all, He loves them.

 By you adopting, or even considering adoption or foster care, you are giving them a second chance to live again, to be happy, to have a real family. You are helping them see that God loves them and has a special plan for their lives. And when that child grows up to be a good person and to make an impact in people’s lives, or even the world, it’s because of your love.

 Obedience is better than sacrifice. My parents had to sacrifice a lot for me and my brothers and sisters that were adopted. But their obedience has made me a better person. And if my parents had not obeyed God to adopt me, I would not be the same person I am now. And one day, when I get older, I want to make an impact in people’s lives, as I’ve had other people make an impact in mine. So when and if you choose to take a child in, you’re giving them a chance to know what it is to be loved.

The Harnden family all together

The Harnden family all together

Christina Martinez

About Christina Martinez

Christina has had a heart for orphaned and vulnerable children since she was a young girl herself. She has a masters degree in Counseling and before joining Orphan's Promise counseled families and children suffering from trauma, emotional disorders, and those exhibiting problem behaviors. Christina also has a passion for music and has served as a singer and worship leader. She loves photography, connecting with people and helping them discover their gifts and talents so that they can live the life of abundance God has for them.

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