Wednesday, December 8, 2010

While You Were Gone: Best Decision

Jihan Sanders met her best friend Sheena Sullen in their 11th grade French class when Sullen turned around in her seat and introduced herself. “She has the biggest heart,” says Sanders. “She should have been my sister, I love her that much.” When Sullen, an Operations Specialist Petty Officer First Class heard she was deploying with the guided missile destroyer USS Mahan, she needed someone to take care of her two children, and Sanders, a mother of two herself, was ready to step in, though it meant picking up her family and moving them from Alabama to Virginia.

Now Dominique Sullen, 14, and Zaria Sullen-Polk, 8, live with Jihan Sander’s two children Tashawn Sanders, 12, and Darric Sanders, 9, in a cozy apartment in Norfolk where dinner is served promptly at 7:30 and Jihan calls out the bathtime schedule once the dishes are cleared. Being a caregiver for four children seems natural for Sanders. “This is the least I can do for her,” she says.

“I saw this beauty in her when she became a mom. I was a tomboy, and she showed me how to be a girl. When she needed someone to watch her kids while she was deployed, I prayed on it, and God spoke to me. It was time for a change, and I needed a new beginning. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made in my life, and I know she would do the same for me.”

1 comment:

August Kryger said...

Lovely as always. This is such a powerful series. I was excited to see you featured in this month's NPPA magazine too! Congrats.