An Arkansas couple has been praised for adopting seven siblings just in time for Christmas. Terri and Michael Hawthorn decided to take the plunge after fostering the kids for a number of years. Now, as Christmas lies just around the corner, the courts finalized the adoptions and gave these stoic kids a warm family home for good.
“Our first words were, ‘ok we’ll do it for a couple of years but we will not adopt,’” said Terri of the moment they decided to become foster parents to the children. In April, the compassionate couple formally adopted two siblings, Korgen and Haizlee. Then, on December 3, the rest of the family were assigned permanent residency with the family, as Terri and Michael adopted some six other kids!
“It feels good to actually have a family to wake up to every morning,” said Kyndal Hawthorn, as reported by WFMY News 2. The oldest sibling, Dawson, added that “it feels so great knowing we have a family now and won’t have to go anywhere else.”
Filled with gratitude and joy, the children are absolutely overwhelmed with the blessings many of us take for granted on a daily basis. “When I got here I was like, oh my gosh, we get our own beds,” said Layna Hawthorn. “We never got that, we had like one bed and most of us slept in the floor,” added Kyndal.
The children revealed some of the unimaginable hardships they faced when living in the care system. “The only times we got to eat is when our neighbors would sneak us a bag of chips,” said Kyndal. “We didn’t have a can opener, and they’d give us the cans that we didn’t know how to open. So sometimes we just didn’t eat.”
Despite bouncing from home to home, this resilient group of kids were convinced that they would one day find a permanent and loving home. “These kids did not ask to come to foster care, four or five different homes, or schools,” Terri explained.
Despite the couple’s clear love for each and every one of these children, they have come under criticism from some who believe they are trying to take on too much by adopting so many young ones. “This is a blessing, they are a blessing,” Terri responded. “Every day these kids wake up and they are giggling and they are happy, and you see the smiles on their faces, that’s what makes this worth it.”
Wow, pray for this newly formed family as they prepare for a first Christmas together!