Inspiring couple still connect as family

LILLIE-BETH BRINKMAN
Staff Writer
Modified: February 16, 2011 at 10:36 pm •  Published: February 16, 2011
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photo - The Lenhart family. Photo provided
The Lenhart family. Photo provided
Th
en the earthquake hit in January 2010, and adoptions already in process were fast-tracked. Both Lenharts went to Haiti in the aftermath — she went to the Embassy to see about finalizing the adoption, and he went to the orphanage in Fedja, Haiti, to help with relief work. Four days later, he was able to access the Internet from Haiti, logged onto Facebook and saw that his wife was safely back in the United States with their two new sons.

It's been a year of the family adjusting to living together — five teens or preteens under one roof, including two who are learning to speak English and attending school for the first time in America.

Tiffanie Lenhart said she and her husband find creative ways to squeeze in time to spend with each other, in addition to family time with each child.

The two sometimes will meet for lunch or get up at 5 a.m. and sneak out for breakfast.

"If things aren't working between us, it's going to affect the whole family," she said.

Even though they were named an "Inspirational Couple" by the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, Jake Lenhart said, they are doing what is normal, and he's proud of how far they've come as a couple and a family since their marriage began. "I don't know that we've ever sat down and said, 'How can we inspire people?' We want to lead by example," he said.

Both said they have a heart for helping and encouraging others who need it.

"I totally think that God uses us, not despite our past but because of our past," Tiffanie Lenhart said. "He's really given us opportunities to use our past as a way to minister to and love on other people who might be going through the same thing."