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'He was shocked': Vancouver Island couple overcome odds to build growing family

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Kathy and Mike are constructing a big Lego set together, which is similar to assembling a great love story.

The instructions suggest you begin by building a strong foundation, just as Kathy and Mike formed a friendship first.

“I really responded to her kindness,” Mike recalls with a smile.

“He was the funniest person in the class,” Kathy says with a laugh.

Then — like stacking brick on brick — dating led to proposing, and marrying lead to planning for a family.

“Both of us were on board for a big family,” Mike says.

Although they were doing everything right, it felt like things were going heartbreakingly wrong.

“Every month, hoping something would happen,” Kathy says. Their friends seemed to build their families effortlessly. “Going to baby showers was really hard.”

After six years of exhausting every option, Kathy and Mike applied to adopt and hung a hopeful picture frame ornament on their Christmas tree.

“We kept it empty,” Kathy says. “Because one day we wanted to have a baby picture in there.”

It hung empty for two years, until their one day came.

“We got to put a picture in there!” Kathy beams. “It was amazing!”

Kathy and Mike felt like their hearts couldn’t feel more full when baby Sera arrived in their lives. Until two years later, when they adopted Sam, and discovered hearts can grown even bigger.

“It was amazing,” Mike smiles. “Absolutely amazing.”

The fact that there was a lot of love to celebrate on Valentine’s Day (which is also Mike’s birthday) was no surprise, until Kathy gave him an unexpected present.

“I wrapped up the pregnancy test for Mike’s birthday,” Kathy recalls with a laugh. “He was shocked.”

After a decade of trying, Kathy was pregnant with Peter. Two years after that, Kathy wrapped up another positive pregnancy test to reveal she was expecting Emma.

“He just couldn’t believe it,” Kathy smiles.

Now they both can’t believe how fortunate they are that their family fits together so perfectly.

“It feels like everything works out for a reason,” Mike says.

Kathy and Mike are also grateful that, even during the most difficult days of trying to build a family, they never gave up hope and never stopped constructing their own love story.

“We focused on each other,” Kathy says. “If you take the focus off the hard thing, it’s not ‘the big thing’ all the time.”

And even when life doesn’t go the way you planned, you just might find you end up building it even better than you could have hoped.

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