"Pursue the things you really want or they'll disappear forever." Those are the words freelance writer, Lisa Addison, read one day that signaled her "aha moment."
Lisa is like a lot women today. Career-driven. Independent. Unwavering in her high standards for faith and family.
Lisa's career brought her across the United States and eventually back home to Lake Charles. She felt the clock ticking.
There was no man on the horizon, but she knew she wanted to become a mom. "I just somehow instinctively knew I would be a mom," she said. "I didn't know when, didn't know how, but I knew I would be."
The prayers for a family lasted for years. Lisa never lost hope.
Ten years ago, Lisa decided to pursue adoption through foster care with the Department of Children & Family Services. She says half of the people in the certification class with her dropped out.
Lisa says she knew this means of adoption could bring heartbreak. She wanted a young child, but that also meant that parental rights might not be terminated and the child would be returned to his or her biological parents.
Still, Lisa pressed on with blind faith. "I specified ages zero to four, male or female, any race and even disabilities."
Over the next two years, Lisa was matched with four foster children, ranging in age from just hours old to 18 months. She loved them all, but so did their families that needed time to grow into the caregivers that could properly love them. Lisa gave these babies love in order to make that reunion happen.
Then came an adorable little boy named Hadley, removed from a home where he had been neglected for some time. "He came running, barrelling into my house," said Lisa.
This was her son and these two instantly became a family. His adoption was a long road and it took two full years to make him legally hers.
Lisa was blissfully happy, enjoying time with Hadley when an unexpected call came from her case worker. "She told me that a baby girl had been found," said Lisa, "her birth mother has just been murdered and they found her at a local motel. She said, 'We want to know if you would consider,' and I said, 'If you hadn't told me all of that, I would've said no,' but I said, 'yes I will.'"
That baby girl, Lexi, is now a Banner Roll kindergarten student. She knows adoption changed her life.
Adoption means I have a family that loves me forever, that loves me more than everybody and anything except Jesus," said Lexi.
Hadley never has to worry about being neglected again. "I have a family and they wanted me," said Hadley.
Lisa says she once questioned her career path and whether or not she would ever marry. Now she says this is the path God had for her all along, leading her straight to a precious boy and girl.
"I am blessed beyond belief," she said, "I have my family. To me, that's the ultimate."
Check out Lisa's story that aired as part of The New Family Tree on KPLC-TV.