So many times in life, things that seem meant to be happen in the most unexpected ways. Coincidences or series of events can put us on an important path without us knowing it, leading to moments that almost seem predestined.
One woman in Oklahoma is opening up about her experiences with that phenomenon, and how one surprise discovery led to a series of life-changing moments.
The Surprise of a Lifetime
Savanah Patt worked at a skilled nursing facility in Edmon, Oklahoma, taking care of senior residents and sharing her love. One day ten years ago, she was going about her regular routine when she came across something shocking.
In one of the residents’ rooms, there was a tiny little girl hiding. It was her grandmother’s room, and the nine-year-old had been staying there for a week after a neighbor dropped her off. That neighbor had found Renlee living alone in a trailer with her older brother and the place was filthy. Her parents were nowhere to be found.
A Rough Upbringing
According to Renlee, the trailer had been overrun with cats and dogs. There were holes in the floor, and the place was filthy. Meanwhile, the little girl had been sent home from school with a severe case of lice and wasn’t allowed to return until she got rid of it.
As for Renlee’s parents, they were struggling with addiction and unable to provide for their kids. Often, they would force them to panhandle on the streets for drug money with them.
“They would take the food stamps and trade them for drugs,” Patt said. “They hoisted her into dumpsters, and they would go dumpster diving.”
Things looked bad for the little girl, but she was about to be saved by a woman with an enormous heart.
“I fell in love with her,” Patt said, revealing it was an easy decision to ask Renlee if she could be her mother.
A Second Surprise
With a steady home life and the love and security of Patt, Renlee thrived. She returned to school and learned what it was like to feel safe. Meanwhile, Patt had another surprise when she received a phone call, asking if she would also take in Renlee’s 13-year-old sister, an older sibling that Renlee hardly knew.
Cheyanne had been traveling between relatives, acquaintances, and strangers since she was born, but the woman she had most recently stayed with no longer wanted her.
“She had been left at a Circle K gas station in Yukon, Oklahoma,” Patt said. “Cheyanne didn’t know I was coming. [When] I pulled up she was sitting outside and she looked at me. I rolled down the window and she said, ‘What are you doing here?’ I said, ‘You want to live with me?’ She said, ‘You want me?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, girl.’”
A Home Filled With Love
Patt became a mother of two, and Cheyanne and Renlee rose to their true potential. They became the first in their family to graduate high school, and in a heartwarming twist, Renlee decided to pursue a nursing degree.
According to the now-19-year-old, she wants to share love with others, just like her mom did with her and her sister.
“I don’t know where I’d be without my mom, I don’t. I was born with meth and heroin, and pretty much every drug you can think of in my system as a baby,” she said. “Her finding me in a room, and now I’m going to be kind of working with people like that.”
“People are like, ‘Oh, you saved them.’ No, no friends. They saved me because having them made me want to be better,” Patt said. “The attachment and bond that you get [when] you’re choosing to love, and they’re choosing to love is so beautiful.”
Sharing Your Love
Not everyone is in a position to foster or adopt a child. (If you are, however, there are more than 390,000 children living in foster care in the U.S., and more than 113,000 kids who are eligible for adoption.) Still, this story reminds us that we should always lead with love.
Perhaps you can help another family or children in need another way. Donations, hot meals, financially sponsoring someone or even volunteering your time are other positive ways to make a difference.
Not everyone gets an equal start in life, and not everyone has the same opportunities. But if you’re lucky enough to have a little extra, spread the love and help others when you can. It doesn’t just make a difference in their lives, it can positively affect yours, too.