While you may not see them walking around with wings sticking out of their backs, it’s undeniable that we come face-to-face with true angels in everyday life.
Many would describe US woman Stephanie Culley as such a person, after taking in her friend’s six children to raise as her own.
Stephanie has shared her incredibly moving story with the Washington Post this week, explaining how she took on the kids after their mother, Beth Laitkep, recently died from cancer.
Beth was a single mother; the father of her eldest children was not around, and the father of her youngest kids apparently left shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The initial diagnosis was made back in 2014, while Beth was pregnant with her youngest child, son Ace. The tot was born via C-section at 30 weeks, and Beth went on to undergo chemotherapy to fight the disease.
Unfortunately, the cancer came back last June, and this was where Stephanie came on the scene. Although the pair had known each other years before, it was only after a house move that they reconnected, and Stephanie began to help Beth through her illness and daily life.
When the treatment stopped working, and the cancer spread to Beth’s spine and brain, the devoted mother had to seriously consider her children’s future. Naturally, she did not want to see them split up – so she turned to Stephanie for help.
"At that point, we took the kids down to the hospital for her to talk to them about it. We said, 'If you do not get a miracle for mommy, who do you want?' They all pointed to me. That melted my heart,” recalled Stephanie.
She added: “We all decided that was what we needed to do - take all of them and keep them all together as our family."
Sadly, Beth passed away in May. True to her vow, Stephanie and her husband went on to take the kids in as their own.
The couple currently have temporary custody of the children, and they are due to appear in court again later this month in order to obtain permanent custody.
Speaking about her life-changing decision, a modest Stephanie told the Post: “People call me an angel - say I'm a hero, but I don't think anyone in my shoes would have done anything different...We believe God has blessed us in our lives, and this is the best thing we can do."
We’re wishing the family all the best in their lives.