Elvin and Nathalie Diaz were so excited to be approved to adopt that they went ahead and painted one room in their house for a girl, and one room for a boy, even though they had yet to meet their forever family.
The Diazs had just finished nine months of paperwork and approvals to grow their family through adoption.
“We had the desire in our souls, in our hearts, to give a kid an opportunity to have a family. The flame was there,” Mr. Diaz said.
In September, Mrs. Diaz received an email from the South Carolina Department of Social Services about an upcoming adoption event in Florence three days later, and decided it was time to go for it.
At that event, they met 7-year-old Jazmyn, and her little 6-year-old brother James, who had both been in foster care for two years prior.
“We just fell in love with her,” Mrs. Diaz said. “Then the case worker asked me, ‘Do you know she has a brother?’ They are more than perfect. We are definitely in love with them already.”
It turns out, those two bedrooms they prepared just in case were perfectly suited for their new family members.
“We were waiting for them, without even knowing. It was faith,” Mr. Diaz said.
Only a few days later, they got word that they were chosen, and the siblings would be moving in – in two days.
“We started crying, we said ‘Wait! What?’ We didn’t know we were going to have two, but we were ready for two. We were excited and happy for them to come home. We quick went shopping and bought everything for them," Mrs. Diaz said.
The Socastee couple, married for five years and originally from Honduras, headed off to buy bedding, clothes, shoes, and furniture for their new additions.
On Monday morning during Horry County’s Adoption Day, Jazmyn and James officially became part of the Diaz family before Family Court Judge Melissa Buckhannon in Conway.
According to SCDSS officials, 27 children in the county were officially welcomed into 17 area families that day. The Horry County Foster Parent Association (HCFPA) said 80 children across the state of S.C. were officially adopted Monday.
The couple owns their own business, Ktracho’s Barber Shop, located on Highway 707.
More than 20 people crowded the courtroom in support of the Diaz family, including friends, family, and their church family too.
The Diazs said they are very active in their church, the Tabernacle Church in Surfside. Pastors Daniel and Ruth Krawchuck joined the celebratory crowd in the courtroom, wiping away tears as they hugged the new family.
The pastors say that the Diaz family is heavily involved, especially in missions and serving others.
“We are just overflowing with joy,” Krawchuck said. “If anybody deserves this, it’s them. They have amazing hearts.”
Currently there are 252 children in foster care in Horry County, and Brenda Major with the HCFPA said that more than 100 homes are needed in Horry County to accommodate them.
Those interested in becoming a foster parent can join the GEM (Guide, Encourage, Mentor) Facebook page to get more information on fostering in Horry County, or visit www.heartfeltcalling.org to sign up for an orientation class. The next class will be Monday, Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. in Legacy Church on Forestbrook Road in Myrtle Beach.