New Life Brings Joy for Christine McFadden

February 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Christine McFadden suffered an unimaginable loss when her four children were murdered six years ago. But now she's raising twin daughters and once again looking forward to the future.

McFadden has her hands full with one year old twin daughters, Claire and Nicole. But McFadden says these lively little girls have also filled her home and her heart with happiness.

"It's just good to have kids, good to have kids again. They bring back a lot of memories of my other children and that's good and bittersweet."

Melanie, Stanley, Stuart, and Michelle were murdered by McFadden's ex-husband in March of 2002. He went room to room killing the children before killing himself while McFadden was out for a morning walk.

She later appeared on Oprah where her heartbreaking story inspired several suicidal women not to take their own lives.

Six years later McFadden's life has changed dramatically. She's working full-time as a Veterinarian, is happily married to Judge Gerald Corman, and is excited for the future with her girls.

"Starting school and planting flowers and learning to read, it's all fun, normal everyday things."

The twins have already said their first words, celebrated their first birthdays, and had their first visit from Oprah. And McFadden says they've developed very distinct personalities.

Claire was the first to crawl and loves animals, while Nicole is working on walking and prefers playing with her toys. But they do have at least one thing in common with each other and the four siblings they never met.

"They love having story books read which was something that was really big with my other kids."

McFadden says she hasn't told the twins many stories about her other children because she doesn't want their deaths to overshadow the girls' lives. She's even considering putting away some of the pictures and personal items that still fill the house.

"It will depend how these children respond to that. Some of those may come down. This is for them, so I try to be aware of that."

But McFadden has found other ways to keep her children's memories alive. A reading room at UC Merced was dedicated in their honor in 2006, and the scholarship foundation she started shortly after their deaths continues to reward students who display great friendship qualities.

"I am so pleased that 7 of the 8 first recipients all went on to graduate school in public health, dentistry, law, helping professions. They're just turning out to be wonderful people."

McFadden says she can't help but think of the impact her own children would have had on the world, and she still misses them every day. But she's determined to focus on the family she has now and the little girls who have brought light back into her life.

"Both girls are just happy babies, a joy to be with."

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