Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

 
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Angels in our Midst (Merrie and David Schwartz)

Updated: Monday, November 25 2013, 07:43 PM CST
Over the past 33 years, more than 50 children have found a refuge in Merrie and David Schwartz's home.
  
Many come with only the clothes on their backs, bearing the scars of abuse.
Some of those children have never left.
  
They found a Forever Home with the Angels in our Midst.
Welcome to the Schwartz home.  Merrie and David call this their house of many nations.   They have six grown biological children between them.  And they have adopted seven children; the siblings, Ray  and Juliana.   Merrie;  "Ray and Juliana both were born deaf."

"We've had to learn sign language and we've had to learn about the deaf community.  And we learned about Cochlear Implants."

Merrie;  "Juliana has actually flown on the Shands jet three times to Gainesville.  She has had her heart valve repaired twice and eventually replaced with an artificial heart valve."

Ray was born prematurely at 24 weeks. He suffers from hip degeneration and walks with a limp.
"D.J. came to us when he was a baby.  He was about 16 or 17 days old when we got him and he's never left."

"Over the years, John has had more and more difficulty breathing so we've ended up having what they call a Laryngectomy with John; where he actually doesn't have a voice box anymore."

"Jamie has lived with us since he was about 10 months old.
He had a trach just like John and he had a feeding tube."

Merrie gave up a career as a Registered Nurse to become a Foster Parent.  David has always been the quiet strength.  They take in the sickest children, the most medically complex; the children no one else wants.  They have taken the children born with a.I.D.S., mrsa, hsv; the ones born addicted to drugs and alcohol.

"God tugged on my heart and that these kids need a home.  They don't need an institution.  They don't need to be in Foster Care.  They need somewhere where they can climb a tree and ride a bike.

And that is just what the Schwartz home offers, that and unconditional love.  Merrie and David are comforted knowing that's what Shawn got to experience in his short life before he passed away four years ago.  Their first adopted child, Javier, was not expected to have survived either.

"If we could just get him through a couple of years of having a family, that's all they could really ask for."

He is another one of their miracles.
"Javi works a full time job at a local hospital.  He participates in society.  He pays taxes."
They help each child achieve their full potential.  There are countless hospital and specialist visits between Pensacola, Jacksonville, Orlando and Gainesville. 

There are 'round the clock meds and treatments to be given.  And they're still taking in children as Foster parents.  Right now they have a toddler and a young boy with physical challenges.  That voice that started their journey is the one that keeps them going.

"That you just have to go with God.  And that's what David and I do."
Angels in our Midst is brought to you by Sacred Heart Children's Hospital.
Angels in our Midst (Merrie and David Schwartz)


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