CHICAGO — It was a reunion ten years in the making with a backstory as good as they come.
“It was 2017 and he was the first child I had ever fostered,” Bernice Wilson said.
The woman known as ‘Granny’ bonded immediately with seven-year-old Elijah but their time together was short-lived.
“He went from home to home until finally being placed into a residential setting,” Wilson said.
Heartroken, ‘Granny’ requested to be Elijah’s foster mom once again; knowing she didn’t have the stamina required to adopt a pre-teen.
So she did the one thing she could do…pray.
“I prayed that somewhere out there, was a wonderful, young couple that would adopt Elijah and be able to do everything I couldn’t. That was my prayer,” Wilson recalled.
What she didn’t know was that an entire state away was a young newlywed couple, desperately searching for the boy that stole their hearts nearly a decade earlier.
“I remember taking Elijah all over Chicago…to the beach, Pilsen, on campus at Moody Bible Institute where we went to school. We tried to find him for years but with no luck. All we could do was pray he ended up in a house where he was loved and cared for,” former Moody Bible Student Ty Gotham said.
What happened next is nothing short of ‘divine intervention’ says Bernice ‘Granny’ Wilson.
She ran into a woman who not only recognized Elijah but told her that she knew a couple that had been searching for the boy for years.
That was two years ago.
Since then, Ty and Emily have fostered Elijah in their home in Wisconsin for a full year before asking to adopt him as their own son.
“It’s crazy,” Elijah Gotham said. “The Mom and Dad I never thought I’d have but here they are after all these years.”
This week’s reunion was not only about a Christmas wish come true, but a chance to see the “Granny” whose prayers were finally answered.
“It was amazing to finally see this day come,” gushed Wilson.
“I have learned so much about love from both Granny and the Gothams,” Elijah said. “They taught me that love is somebody you can count on. Somebody that is always there for you and that’s what these people are for me.”