BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - This is a powerful story of a woman whose life began in total despair. But because of the great gift of adoption, she was saved and grew up to become one of the South Mississippi's most vocal advocates for abused and neglected children.
Mee Soon-Cho was a product of the Korean War. Her birth mother was Korean, her birth father an American G.I. Her first four years of life were a living hell.
"I can remember being abused, physically abused. And I can remember being sexually abused. I was sold a couple of times then ended up in orphanages," she recalled.
One of those orphanages was run by a Methodist missionary couple from Illinois, who were the first to ever care for and protect her. She will never forget Charlie and Alva Harper.
"Actually, I owe my whole life to them because without them I would not be here. And it's a very emotional thing because I can't imagine what my life would have been back in Korea if I hadn't had those advocates to advocate for me and find me parents to love, and for them to love me."
And loved she is. Mee Soon-Cho became Jeannie Fauth in May of 1961. She says that's the day her life actually began when Carl and Dorothy Fauth, who lost their own 9-year-old daughter to Leukemia, adopted her.
"God instigated it through these people," Dorothy Fauth said of becoming Jeannie's adoptive mother, "and it was the best thing that ever happened to me."
After 72 years of marriage, Carl is gone now. But at 93, Dorothy still remembers the first time she laid eyes on her precious child at Midway Airport.
"Oh, she was such a doll. She had this little green coat on, and I knew she was nervous cause she was biting the cuff of her sleeve. The Chicago Daily News took our picture, put it in the paper and sent us a copy of it."
With a huge smile, the doting mother recalls a very special moment.
"Jeannie was standing on the seat by me and as Carl came around the corner, 'That's my Daddy and you're my Momma!' Oh it made me heart leap."
Dorothy, who lives with Jeannie, hopes more people would experience the joy of adoption.
"Oh, she's the best and I would recommend adoption to anybody," Jeanne said.
Because of her blessed life and the people who cared enough to save her, Jeannie Herrin has dedicated her life to the protection of abused and neglected children as the Executive Director of Harrison County's CASA program.
CASAs are Court Appointed Special Advocates for children in the DHS system.
"I saw this job and I thought, 'Wow, this is a perfect opportunity to advocate and make sure children are safe.' And you know, God works in mysterious ways and I am proof of that."