Congregants of New Covenant church in Northeast Fresno witnessed a special Mother's day gift 9, years in the making, an adopted son giving his new mother her first Mother's Day hug.
"It's neat, finally. It's been a long road," said Catherine Downes.
Catherine and her husband Kevin of Visalia were invited to share their unique story of infertility and the adoption of Benicio, a Haitian born child who survived January's devastating earthquake.
"The process to adopt from Haiti and any third world country for that matter is just the infrastructure is just not really set up and so we would have delay after delay after delay," Kevin Downes said.
But two weeks after the quake this two-year old was in America.
"Melting into our arms and just kind of a sigh of relief for he just somehow kind of knew this is where he was supposed to be," Catherine Downes said.
Their message of perseverance and faith resonated with the audience.
"I wasn't able to have children so it meant a lot to me because he was a couple that stepped out of the box," Alice Reiter of Fresno said.
Lorrie Garnier of Fresno added, "Lot of friends that can't have kids, would love to adopt. It's a big process. I just praise them."
Sunday's service took on a stronger spiritual significance when the Downeses explained their unusual twist in fate early in the adoption process.
"October of 2008 is when we got the referral from the orphanage in Haiti with Benicio and that was an unbelievable moment and then the very next day Catherine found out she was pregnant," Kevin Downes said.
Now there are two reasons to celebrate this Mother's day 11-month old Nathaniel and his older brother Benicio.
"Never lose hope and trust that God has a plan for you," Kevin Downes said.