Growing up on an Arkansas farm, Walt Manis believed that one day he’d have a daughter he would call Chloe. And when Walt married long-time friend Annie, his dream seemed finally to be within reach. But as months turned into years and no child came for the couple, the aspiring father started to think that God had decided not to grant his wishes after all. Then adoption provided an answer to his prayers – along with a rather stunning coincidence.
As a child, Walt enjoyed nothing more than getting out among nature on his parents’ 100-acre farm. Deeply religious, he also spent a lot of time communing with God. And Walt believed that God had once provided him with a vision of his future daughter. The dark-skinned, dark-eyed girl he saw that day was called Chloe.
Then, not long after Walt received this apparent flash into his future, his family moved to live in a new home. And, as it turns out, one of the Manis clan’s new neighbors was called Annie – a girl with whom Walt quickly became good friends. Because Walt was a fair bit older than Annie, though, it wasn’t until she had blossomed into a young woman that romance grew between the pair.
Walt was a help to Annie when she began college, too, and they spent a great deal of time together. During that period, the couple also shared a lot about their hopes and dreams, with Annie telling Walt in particular that she wished above all to become a mom some day. But what she said next came as a complete shock to him.
You see, it turned out that Annie had also chosen the name “Chloe” for her potential future daughter, leading Walt to waste no time in telling her about his dream. Walt no longer thought that his vision would become reality, though. That’s because he’d seen a daughter with olive skin, while Annie, by contrast, was blonde and fair-skinned.
Be that as it may, Walt and Annie subsequently wed and began life together. And at first, the couple decided to wait before having kids so that they could both continue with their respective missionary work. When Walt and Annie started to think about beginning a family, though, there was a setback: Annie didn’t quickly become pregnant as she’d hoped. As time passed, then, the couple began to believe that their dreams of parenthood would never be realized.
Indeed, after four years had gone by with still no sign of a child, Annie and Walt were at a low ebb. In a video uploaded to YouTube by Moving Works in 2015, Annie explains that she had questioned God, thinking that he was “mean” for not giving her the baby she so dearly wanted. And the experience of infertility was placing a strain on the pair’s relationship with each other as well.
Yet although Annie had cycled through her own feelings of despair and hurt, she resolved to find ways to be content. On top of that, given how difficult it was proving to be to have a child, her thoughts turned to adoption. But the biggest obstacle to adopting turned out to be Walt; to begin with, he was resolutely against the idea.
Ultimately, though, Walt began to feel that he could at least get behind Annie if she wanted to adopt. And as the couple embarked on finding a child, Annie’s husband actually started to change his mind. Indeed, Walt began to see this as the way that God had chosen for him to become a father.
Now committed to the process, Annie and Walt settled down to wait for any news. And, eventually, an email came through with a message that may have made the anguish the pair had gone through disappear in an instant. Yes, happily it turned out that the husband and wife were about to become the parents of a baby girl.
As part of their preparations for the new arrival, then, in December 2009 Walt and Annie went to meet the woman who would be giving birth to their child. And when Walt encountered the expectant mom for the first time, he suddenly knew that adoption was the right course for his family.
To Walt’s astonishment, the mother-to-be was the spitting image of the child he’d seen in his dream on the farm. Finally, he understood how a girl with olive skin would come into his life. But that wasn’t all. You see, the woman who would bear Annie and Walt’s child had something else to reveal – something that would truly blow the couple’s minds.
Specifically, it turned out that the woman had a preferred name for the baby she was carrying. And to Walt and Annie’s surprise, she revealed that she too had imagined the girl would be called Chloe. Amazingly, then, it appeared that Walt’s vision was actually coming true.
Soon after that, Chloe entered the world – and she was exactly what Walt had imagined. In the Moving Works video, he says, “[Chloe]’s been a part of my life for so long, and she’s finally here.” And Walt knew exactly where to place the credit. “There is no mistake!” he adds in the clip. “I am the father of this child just like God planned it to be.”
Then, after the duo had become a trio, they headed off together on a life together of missions – including one in Germany. And after finally returning to the U.S. in 2015, they settled in Austin, Texas, where they found a place with Moving Works and shared their story online through that mission in the same year.
What’s more, the video that they made – entitled “Chloe – A Story of Infertility, Adoption and God’s Love” – has proven incredibly popular, with more than four million views on YouTube alone. And a number of those who have watched the clip shared the emotions that they’d felt upon seeing it, too.
One commenter, Samantha Edwards, explained that she had not been able to contain herself as she had viewed the video. Edwards wrote, “I just cried 14 minutes straight watching this.” Another woman, Melissa M, also shared what it had meant to her, writing, “Wow, this video touched me soo much.”
And with more than one in ten couples in the U.S. suffering from infertility, according to the Mayo Clinic, it’s perhaps no surprise that the footage resonated with many people. One of them, Catie Garza, had been trying for a baby for two years, and she wrote in response to the clip, “I feel like the universe sent me this video as a sign, and I have renewed hope. I’m waiting for that little girl I had a vivid image of last year.”
Walt and Annie still live in Austin, and Chloe has grown to be the girl whom Walt claims to have had a vision of while out in the fields of his boyhood farm. But one thing he didn’t see was her little sister Naomi. Yes, he and his wife adopted a second child three years after Chloe.
And in the Moving Works video, Walt explains what he thinks when people tell him that the story of Chloe is all just a coincidence. “You can’t convince me that,” he says with a glint in his eye. “It’s a miracle.” But Walt certainly isn’t alone in having made an astonishing discovery about his adoptive child; Katie Page had a similar experience, too.