Looking through old family photos is a little different for Nanci and Bruce Ogilvie. That’s because the people in the photos keep changing.
“There have been a lot of tears when some of them have driven down the driveway for the last time and left, and it’s been real hard,” Ogilvie said.
This East Texas couple has been foster parents for more than 33 years, helping more than 200 babies.
“I didn’t know why I was doing it, but one day I just felt God tell me this is what I want you to do and I said, ‘Are you sure?’ And that’s how it got going really,” Nanci said.
Although they say it’s the most rewarding job they have ever done, it hasn’t been easy. Most of the babies they take in are born addicted to drugs or have drugs in their system.
“It’s heartbreaking. Those babies don’t sleep … and a lot of them are very irritable if they are drug-exposed,” Nanci said. “One little boy especially — you would lay him on the changing table to change his diaper and his legs would be sticking straight up in the air and he couldn’t put them down. So we did lots of physical therapy with him.”
Each precious baby comes with his or her own story.
“I was No. 21,” Ashley Dillard said. “They brought me home when I was 2 days old and I stayed with them until I was 3 months old when I was adopted.”
Ashley is grateful for the love the Ogilvie’s gave her.
“I never met people like them,” she said. “They are so amazing and they love you so much. They are so caring. I mean, they are willing to help anyone who needs it.”
At the age of 12, Ashley’s adopted mother suddenly died from complications related to a surgery. Once again, Nanci and Bruce were there for Ashley.
“They immediately opened their home and immediately started helping me to better my life and put me on the right track,” Ashley said. “The things they have done for me and the help they have given me and the love they have supported me with is amazing. It’s life-changing!”
They also took in a little 4-year-old girl named Courtney.
“After the very first day, she said, ‘You’re going to be my new daddy.’ And we fell in love with her from there and decided we couldn’t live without her,” Angie Williams, Nanci and Bruce’s biological daughter, said.
Angie and her husband adopted Courtney. She is now 19 years old and a student at Tyler Junior College.
“I feel like for my parents, I have a greater appreciation of who they are and what they do for me than some of my friends,” Courtney said. “I can say that I’m much happier with the life I was given than the life that I would have had if I wasn’t adopted into this family.”
And Angie said she has been a wonderful addition to their family.
“When the adoption was finalized, it just really completed us,” she said. “With all the bows and make-up and glitter, she was a gift.”
Nanci and Bruce have touched many lives over the past three decades and continue to have an impact on the children they have helped.
“We get lots of Christmas cards, and you know a lot of them are grown now,” Bruce said with a smile. “We’ve helped them, and they’ve helped us.”
Nanci added, “They just fill our hearts up with love.”
To learn more about Nanci and Bruce Ogilvie, join Gillian Sheridan for her Children are a Gift report, Tuesday night on CBS 19 Ten @ 10. You can also find information on www.cbs19.tv or www.tylerpaper.com . To inquire about an East Texas child waiting to be adopted, call 903-533-4109.