PARENTS

Family Of Four Becomes 10 After Parents Adopt SIX Siblings In One Go

14/08/2014 16:48 | Updated 22 May 2015
Family of four becomes 10 after parents adopt SIX siblings in one go

A family of four has become a family of 10 overnight after a selfless couple decided to adopt six homeless siblings in one go.

Jennifer and Nathan Johnson, of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, adopted the four girls and two boys aged from 16 to three after being moved by their story on the Minnesota Adoption Resource Network.

It said the children were suddenly sent to foster care after their mother with developmental disabilities was unable to care for them and their father suffered a debilitating brain injury after falling down the stairs.

The couple were looking to adopt one child, not six, but say they couldn't get the picture of Danielle, 16, Josephine, 12, Hannah, 10, Sam, seven, Nathan, five, and Gabby,three, out of their minds.

Jennifer, 37, explained to the local paper: "I looked at their picture and I said, 'Who would want to take six kids?'. I showed it to my friends. I couldn't stop thinking about them."

She raised the possibility with her husband, Nate, 36, who was just as moved.

He said: "Every kid deserves a family. How do you make it through life without people to come back to?"

The couple married in 1997 and always intended to have just one or two children. They had Katrina, now nine, who was sadly born with Rett Syndrome - the same condition that tragically claimed Coleen Rooney's 14-year-old sister Rosie - meaning she can't walk or talk. When they decided to have a second child they decided to adopt, offering to become parents to Emma, now five, a girl with the same condition who was in need of a home.

It was then that they looked further into adoption.

"I have an obsession with the Minnesota adopt website," Jennifer joked.

"Seeing those kids and those faces. ... You would see teenagers and all they want is a home for Christmas. It made me hurt. I would go and pray for those kids often."

The children moved in with their new family in June after a complete renovation of the couple's three bedroom home to allow for six rooms for six new children. In November, the adoptions were finalised in court.

Some alterations to the Johnsons' lifestyle were of course necessary. The family now has a large whiteboard mounted on the dining room wall divided into eight squares - one for each child. They also had to buy a shuttle bus so they could all get around at once.

Seven-year-old Sam has difficulties trusting that the new set up is his to enjoy permanently.

He often asks his adoptive mother: "Are you a forever mom?"

Being able to tell him yes is one of Jennifer's biggest joys.

"It will probably take years for them to understand we're there forever, but for me it's a done deal," said Jennifer.

"It's not something to take on lightly. These are people. It's forever, but it's awesome."

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