In 2017 A Couple Surprised Their Son With His Newly Adopted Sister Under The Christmas Tree

Image: YouTube/Love What Matters

Having come from a family with lots of siblings, Stacey Lindsay knew the importance of a strong family unit. Indeed, it was a value she had instilled in her son, Owynn. All he wanted was to be a big brother. Then, when a newborn baby was left under a Christmas tree, the little boy broke down as he read the message on her shirt.

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Growing up can be hard at times. Finding your way in the world can be a path lined with many obstacles and challenges. It may be easier with the guidance of those who have been there before. Parents, for example, can offer the benefit of their own experience.

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For an only child, though, is that where their identity ends? For many years psychologists have studied lone children. And while early research in the 19th century may have been rudimentary, stereotypes of the only child have persisted for a long time.

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Words often associated with only children include lonely, spoiled and even peculiar. Research, however, offers nothing to support these stereotypes. In fact, lone children have been found to excel in situations where those with siblings may not fare as well.

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There are, of course, possible plus sides to being an only child. For example, parents are able to dedicate themselves to nurturing just one offspring. They’ll have more resources such as time, money and effort to invest in varied activities. Life, then, may seem more diverse and interesting.

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But where there are benefits to being an only child, there are also plus sides to having brothers and sisters. It has, in fact, been suggested that kids learn street smarts quicker in a larger clan. The ability to read social situations, for example, can actually be easier among siblings.

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Image: Facebook/Stacey Wilson Lindsay

Stacey Lindsay, from Peosta, Iowa, is someone who understands the advantages of having a large family. In fact, she was one of 15 children growing up. And although that’s a lot of mouths to feed and a huge amount of chaos around the house, you’re guaranteed never to be lonely.

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Image: Facebook/Stacey Wilson Lindsay

Although Stacey had no aspirations to have such a large family herself, she knew she wanted more than one child. That particular journey began in 2007 when she and her husband, Adam, welcomed their son, Owynn. But their next child would be a long time coming.

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Image: Facebook/Stacey Wilson Lindsay

Stacey and Adam tried as hard as they could to get pregnant for a second time, but they had a battle o fight. And it’s one that lasted for seven years. After trying different means and methods, they realized perhaps their dreams of another child were out of their hands.

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In February 2018, Stacey told her story to Love What Matters. As she explained, “For seven years my husband, Adam, and I have battled the infertility war. We started our family back in 2007 when our first child, Owynn, was born. We always wanted at least two children.”

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“I grew up in a very large, tight-knit family,” Stacey continued. “I had 14 siblings, so I knew how important a sibling would be to Owynn. But after five miscarriages and unsuccessful in vitro, we surrendered our journey to God.” Was Owynn destined to be an only child?

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Well, Stacey knew how much her son wanted a baby brother or sister, and she didn’t want to let him down. So, after the heartbreak of miscarriages and failed IVF, the Lyndsays considered their options. They started to look in to the possibility of fostering.

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Image: Facebook/Stacey Wilson Lindsay

“Owynn was asking for a sibling, adding it to his Christmas list to Santa and asking a lot of questions,” Stacey explained. “He and I had a lot of deep conversations about how sometimes God doesn’t always answer our prayers exactly how we intend him to.”

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Image: Facebook/Stacey Wilson Lindsay

It was undoubtedly a tough situation for Stacey to be in. On the one hand, she didn’t want to get her son’s hopes up too high. On the other, she wanted to give Owynn the gift that he so desperately wanted – being a big brother. Could fostering be the answer?

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As of 2016, almost half a million children lived in foster care in the U.S. Of those, nearly half were placed in the care of non-relative families, just like the Lindsays. There was no shortage, then, of kids who would benefit from the family’s help and support.

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There is an important difference between fostering and adoption, however. When a child is taken into foster care, the intention is for them to eventually be reunited with their biological family. Although it doesn’t always work out that way, most kids will return to their parents.

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Not everyone is suitable to become a foster parent, however. Indeed, there is a process to complete before becoming a licensed or certified foster carer. It was during their introduction to this world that Stacey and Adam came to a heartbreaking realization.

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“After my husband and I took an Introduction to Foster Care class, we knew foster care was not a good fit for our family at that time,” Stacey recalled. You see, the nature of fostering didn’t feel right for them. They knew that, ultimately, they couldn’t go through with it.

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Stacey explained, “We knew the goal of fostering was to place that child back with his or her family, and our hearts were too sensitive. We knew that part may be extremely hard for our family.” Fostering, then, was no longer an option. Owynn was devastated.

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So, it seems God wasn’t answering the Lindsays’ prayers just yet. At least not how they intended Him to, just as Stacey had explained to Owynn. But that doesn’t mean their prayers would go unanswered. Life, you see, has a way of working itself out sometimes.

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As Stacey recalled, “In June [2017], by the grace of God, we were introduced to an amazing young woman who wanted to place her baby for adoption.” It may not have been the path they were expecting, but they believed God had been listening after all.

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The young woman the Lindsays were introduced to was Kendra Schaar-Harp from nearby Dubuque, Iowa. She showed up at the Lindsays’ house on June 1, 2017, with her sister. And the young woman had a particularly big question to ask Stacey.

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Image: Facebook/Kendra Schaar-Harp

Kendra was pregnant. And yet, despite being a teenage mom-to-be, she had a very realistic grasp of the situation she was in. Like all moms she wanted her baby to have the best possible life she could provide. And weighing up her choices, she reached a huge conclusion.

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Image: Facebook/Kendra Schaar-Harp

The day Kendra paid the Lindsays a visit, she was barely 17. And, given her circumstances, she realized that she may not be the best person to provide her child with everything she felt they deserved in life. So, the teenager reached out to Stacey and her family.

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Image: Facebook/Kendra Schaar-Harp

“We knew it was a one in a million chance she would pick us, but our prayers were answered,” Stacey described to Love What Matters. For the Lindsays, then, there was nothing to think over. The adoption process began. But the couple by no means believed it was a done deal.

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As Stacey explained, “We kept the whole situation from our ten-year-old son knowing that the chances were high [that] the birth mom may change her mind. We already knew [Owynn’s] feelings on becoming a sibling, and we knew we couldn’t get his hopes up again just to crush his heart.”

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On December 6, 2017, Kendra gave birth to a baby girl, Naylee Kenmyn Rayn. Stacey had struck such a bond with Kendra that she was present at the birth, alongside the teenage mom’s sister. Adam, meanwhile, waited with family members outside the delivery room.

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Then, it was time for Stacey’s husband to meet the baby. When he saw the newborn, she noticed a familiar look on his face. As she described, “When Adam came in to see Naylee for the first time I saw his eyes light up, something I had only seen one other time – when Owynn was born.”

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There was no doubt, then, that Stacey and Adam desperately wanted to welcome Naylee into their family. But was there any basis to the mom’s earlier apprehension? Now that Kendra was holding her baby in her arms, was she still willing to give her daughter up?

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The Lindsays weren’t leaving anything to chance. As Stacey recalled, “We stayed in the hospital with Naylee and didn’t leave her side until Kendra gave us permission to take her home.” And, as it happened, their wait paid off. Two days later they took their baby daughter back to Peosta.

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Stacey explained, “On December 8 we got to bring our little girl home to her forever big brother! I was excited when Kendra asked if she could be there when we surprised Owynn, and I knew that [it] was important for her, and for us, to have her there.”

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Owynn, then, had no idea what was waiting for him when he arrived home that day. So his parents set up an early Christmas present for their son. As the ten-year-old bounds up to the front door of the family home, Stacey announces, “We came home early. We have something for you.”

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Owynn’s parents were filming their son’s reaction to his surprise. As the video shows, he looks stunned and a little trepidatious as he steps inside the house. “We have something for you,” his mom explains as she gives him a hug. “We got you an early Christmas present. It’s under the tree.” So, the little boy heads inside to investigate.

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Image: Stacey Lindsay via Blesk pro Zeny

Owynn pauses at the tree for a moment. He appears speechless, perhaps trying to process what was happening. “Do you know what that is?” his mom asks. Clearly it’s a baby, but she was wearing a message for her brother. “Read her shirt,” Stacey instructs her son.

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Image: Stacey Lindsay via Blesk pro Zeny

Crouching down to get a closer look, Owynn lifts the baby girl’s hand. Reading the words emblazoned across her shirt, the clearly emotional ten-year-old says, “Little sister!” To which Stacey affirms to her gobsmacked son, “That’s your little sister. For real.”

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The little boy is truly lost for words. But as his mom explains how the baby girl came to be a part of their family, Stacey asks her son, “Who do you think gave you this gift?” Owynn then gives a nod to Kendra, who was there to see the whole thing. For her, the ten-year-old has just two words: “Thank you.”

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As Stacey described to Love What Matters, “We are absolutely in love. At times we still just look at her and can’t believe how blessed we are. We knew God played a role in all of this. He gave us trials to test our faith. In His time, He gave us what we had always prayed for, our sweet Naylee Kenmyn Rayn.”

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Image: Stacey Lindsay via Blesk pro Zeny

Kendra, it seems, has no regrets in choosing the Lindsays to care for her daughter. As she wrote in a Facebook post days later, “I could not trust anyone more than [Stacey] to be the mother of my child. And her adoptive dad and brother, too; they are just incredible.”

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Image: Stacey Lindsay via Blesk pro Zeny

Indeed, it’s a mutual admiration. As Stacey wrote in a reply to Kendra’s Facebook post, “Adam and I had no idea how much we would fall in love with the young lady and her sister that came to our door [on] Thursday, June 1 [2017].” It seems it was the beginning of a lifelong friendship.

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Image: Facebook/Stacey Wilson Lindsay

Kendra, in fact, remains in close contact with the Lindsays. But how does the ten-year-old feel about being a big brother? As Stacey described to Love What Matters, “Owynn says December 6 [2017] is the best day of his life and that God gave him two sisters – Kendra and Naylee. Without a doubt, her family has become ours.”

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