EAST TEXAS (KYTX) -- The year was 1970. A baby girl, just a few weeks old, born to teenage parents.
"Both of my biological parents had just graduated high school or were in their senior year and were just unmarried and too young."
They put her up for adoption.
"My mother has told me the story of how they told me they chose me and how they waited for me."
Christine would grow up and marry Jay Knight of Tyler and starting a family would be a struggle.
"We were a couple that wasn't sure if we wanted children," she said. "And so adoption was a very easy decision once we realized it wasn't going to happen naturally."
First they adopted Zoe, at just 4 days old.
"Who would know that you could love someone so much so quickly."
"She put her head on my chest and it was magical."
"There is no love like the love of a child."
Next they would adopt little Ava.
"Ava was a daddy's girl."
And Zoe couldn't be happier about having a little sister.
"When Zoe saw her it was like she knew it was her sister."
But September 10, 2010, when Ava turned 2 years old, was a day they will never forget.
"Around noon I got a call from the sitter and she was panicked and she said that Ava had fallen in the pool."
"In the ambulance with her I just remember waiting to hear her voice, which I never did."
"I remember that morning before I left she just kept begging daddy, daddy, dance with me dance with me dance with me. 'Baby I'll dance with you real quick but I'm going to get on the road so I can get home and be here for your birthday.' That didn't get to happen, but we were blessed to have her for a year. She's an amazing child."
The loss was almost more than they could bear.
"As a believer I don't know if there is any other way to begin to heal except to trust in God."
Entering Ava's bedroom, her middle name remains on the shelf.
"We play in here and we have baby dolls in here but it's also where I go to be sad."
Faith, became the focus of this family's healing. And through it, Zoe gave them comfort.
"To have to explain to her who God is, where heaven is, about love and about mercy and about patience and all the things that come with dealing with a tragedy."
It's left this family forever changed.
"It's made me a better father and husband I believe."
"What we've learned is that our hearts are really big and even in spite of a loss there's room for others, which I really don't think I could have foreseen."
And they encourage others to open their heart and help a child.
"Now when I hear people say I don't think we want children, I'm like, 'don't rule it out. It's the most amazing love'"
Christine and Jay are hopeful about the future with Zoe, believing "children are a gift."
And the time spent with little Ava, is a true blessing.
"She's touched so many lives and led so many people to the Lord. So I know God has a plan for our life."
Christine and Jay want people to know that whether a child grows in your belly or in your heart through adoption, the love they bring is the same and it is truly amazing.