It’s impossible not to smile when you see this family of bright, adorable daughters. Their love for each other is enough to warm even the hardest heart…but anyone who knows their story is sure to shed a tear.
Just three short months ago, Jeremy & Kristina Adkins, the parents of four lovely girls, Mackenzie, 14, Alexis, 12, Savannah, 9 and Sophia, 7 were headed to the hospital to welcome their fifth daughter, Eaven (rhymes with haven). Excited to become a family of seven, the delivery had a complication that turned the Adkins’ world upside down…and took their beloved mother and wife away. We live in a time when death due to childbirth is practically unheard of but, as Jeremy has had to face with the loss of his precious 36 year-old wife, something that occurs nonetheless.
Ten weeks after the blessing of Kristina Eaven (a name voted on by her older sisters…Eaven was in Kristina’s top three choices), Jeremy is grateful to the community of friends he and his wife gained over the last year of living in Coral Springs and attending church at First Baptist of Ft. Lauderdale. Relocating here from Nashville for his job working for a large hospital group, the couple and their girls were settled into an active life involved with their church’s ministry, camping, karaoke, travel, hiking and basketball. While Kristina was home-educating the girls and working as a nurse, Jeremy worked, played on a men’s basketball league and enjoyed shooting hoops with their daughters and coaching them to sing harmony and play guitar. “We’re a very musical family,” he tells us. Jeremy’s grandfather had four daughters who sang harmony, so he hopes to also do the same with his girls….but with five. “I’ve got a basketball team,” he chuckles. And if, for any reason, basketball doesn’t work out, Jeremy encourages each of the Adkins sisters to play guitar. Mackenzie also plays in the youth band at church. The girls were all in First Baptist’s famous Christmas Pageant in 2012, assuredly an amazing memory for the entire family.
Jeremy continues, “We have a neat retro camper and love camping in state parks. When we still had Kristina, we really spent as much time as we could enjoying that together.” They are obviously used to being on the go. Recently returning from a trip to Disney World, Jeremy says the girls had a terrific time cutting loose.
A huge Kentucky Wildcats fan, Jeremy has always enjoyed watching college ball with his dad. For now, he’ll settle into the rhythm of getting closer to the five ladies in his life and thanking God for the blessings they each bring to the family. “I know that I never could have done this without my faith,” he says solemnly. “Without the amazing people at my work (many who gave up vacation days for him to take time off) and in our church, I never would have seen that God has an amazing plan for all of us.”
On Mother’s Day, Jeremy and his girls had little Eaven dedicated to God at their church. He says, “I know their mom was smiling down on us that day. Mother’s Day was a happy one for all of us. We know that she is fully healed and we’ll be with her again.”
Despite the circumstances, Jeremy looks forward to his family’s future. “It’s hard for me to explain my hope without explaining my faith,” he says determinedly. “Even though I was going to church, I can’t say I had a strong faith before this happened, but there’s no way I could have faced this ordeal without the family of God that’s surrounded me. There’s nothing in life that I can face now that’s going to be daunting. It’s literally thousands of people that are supporting and praying for us and I give all of the credit to God.” A pensive moment passes and Jeremy concludes, “His strength has carried us through… I can feel it in a very real way. It’s just amazing to me.”
When asked what he’s looking forward to this Father’s Day, Jeremy answers thoughtfully. “I’m grateful that I have these beautiful girls. They are a source of strength for me, and they give me a sense of purpose. My calling is to be their Daddy. I need to show them how important it is for a man to have a relationship with Christ, and I’m looking forward to being with them on Father’s Day.”
To help and encourage the Adkins family, please visit www.fundly.com/m/kristina-s-girls-fund