Meet the Watson Family

Meet the Watson Family

The Watson Family (photo submitted) The Watson Family (photo submitted)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A surprise knock on the door on Jan. 10 delivered a dramatic turn in the lives of Daniel and Mandy Watson. It was a life-changing moment they couldn't have imagined five years ago as other big changes unfolded.

It was five years ago when Daniel and Mandy Watson left their jobs and created The Restoration House of East Tennessee, a non-profit organization that provides single mothers with housing, mentoring and advocacy. They have also become proud adoptive parents of three adorable children.

The surprise knock on the door came from the cast and crew of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." That's when the Watson family learned a new home will be built for them in just one week.

Though the Watsons have worked to provide single mothers shelter, their own home was crumbling, with warped floors, cracking walls, and falling ceilings. Poor insulation made the home difficult to heat.

Because of medical bills and adoption costs, Daniel and Mandy were unable to replace the roof on their home, resorting instead to rigging a tarp over half the house.

While the Watson family enjoys a dream vacation in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida, area, more than 3,000 volunteers join the cast and crew of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" to build a dream home for the Watsons.

Among the crew are special guest Jenny McCarthy, designers Paul DiMeo, Tracy Hutson, John Littlefield and Jillian Harris.

Daniel and Mandy are inspirational examples of how people can make a difference in the lives of others. They were both raised by single mothers. Now they work tirelessly to transform the lives of low-income, single-mother families. 

They also transformed their own family. The couple decided to forego having biological children and instead adopted their three children.

Atley, 7, and Ava, 6, were adopted as newborns from single mothers in the Knoxville area.

Silas, 2, is from Ethiopia. He was found abandoned in the bushes on the verge of death and was handed over to authorities at only 10 days old.

All three children are now healthy and playful.

Daniel is the executive director of Restoration House, but to make ends meet works a second job at night as a web developer.

Mandy stays home to care for the children, but also she spends several hours each week helping the mothers in the Restoration House program.

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