People Magazine recently shared this touching and heart-warming story of beauty in the midst of great tragedy.
Randy Lowe and Joshua Melendez lost several close friends in the attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL in early June. In the days immediately following the tragedy, they struggled with grief and loss; and they spent Father’s Day making memorial wreaths for the funerals instead of enjoying the family cook-out they had planned to do with their two foster sons, Robert (6) and Jacob (3). They have been fostering the young boys since October 2012. In the midst of the difficult days following the Orlando attack, they were also very worried about the pending adoption finalization date that had been scheduled for August of this year.
On Tuesday night, their worries about adopting the boys evaporated when their attorney emailed them that a judge had an opening in her schedule and would be able to hold the adoption hearing the following morning – two months earlier than they had expected.
“When the attorney asked if we would be able to make it, I said, ‘Yes, yes, yes!” says Lowe.
After the formal adoption hearing on Wednesday, with all four decked out in their Sunday best, they celebrated at one of the boys’ favorite hangouts: Chuck E. Cheese. “We were all so happy,” says Melendez.
Lowe and Melendez agree that the timing of their adoption finalization couldn’t have come at a better moment for them all. The positive focus of being joined together as a family permanently has given them hope and joy and helped ease the grief of their loss. Lowe says, “”I have seen light come out of the darkness after all of this. The light to me has been the whole community embracing and loving one another. I hope we can show the world that love conquers all.”