One group of seven siblings are about to have the most wonderful Christmas of their lives.
After spending three years in foster care, an Arkansas court finalized their adoption by Terri and Michael Hawthorn, an Arkansas couple. The couple fought for months to get the kids and their hopes and prayers have been answered, just in time for the holidays and a new year.
The Hawthorns didn’t always plan to adopt children. They wanted to make a difference by fostering children.
“Our first words were ok we’ll do it for a couple of years but we will not adopt,” said mother Terri Hawthorn.
They ended up fostering for several years, and many children came in and out of their home. The Hawthorns spread around a lot of love.
The seven siblings never even had their own beds.
“When I got here I was like, oh my gosh, we get our own beds,” said Layna Hawthorn.
Kyndal added this.
“We never got that, we had like one bed and most of us slept in the floor,” said Kyndal.
Even food was a challenge before.
“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.”
More than food and beds, though, the kids are so happy to have a family.
“It feels good to actually have a family to wake up to every morning,” said Kyndal Hawthorn.
For many years, the kids dreaded even going home, with “home” changing constantly. The oldest sibling, Dawson, added this.
“It feels so great knowing we have a family now and won’t have to go anywhere else.”
The children want to spread their story and their joy. They hope their story goes viral so that it may make an impact and encourage other families to adopt children, especially groups of siblings, who are too frequently split up.
“This has been the best Christmas I could ever have, actually knowing I have a mom and dad,” Kyndal said.
Micah, one of the Hawthorns’ four adult biological children, posted several photos on Facebook.
Micah added this message.
Less than 35 hours until we share a last name?
Knowing that there are 7 little bodies asleep right now in my parents’ house is kind of surreal. They’ve had over 80 foster kids pass through their care over the years. Always coming and going.. but to know that these 7 children will grow to be young adults in their home, learning from us, and being influenced by us.. is a whole new feeling.
It’s less than 2 days until you will forever be my baby siblings. A responsibility I don’t take lightly. I will assure you that you will always have a family to love you. You won’t ever have to worry if there’s enough food in the home, or a bed to call your own. You won’t fear, but will continue to learn what’s right. You will go to school, get an education, and one day contribute to our society. You’ll be shown to love God and to love others & give back in this world! You will stay together, and have two people to call Mom and Dad. & you won’t ever have to fear being unsafe again. Fear being hurt again.
Because you aren’t going anywhere. You’re home ?
Many people think the Hawthorns are nuts for adopting so many children. But here is the truth. Few people get to the end of their lives regretting making a difference in the life of a child.
“This is a blessing, they are a blessing,” said Terri. “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.”
Like the kids, she hopes that what her family has done will help others.
“We hope this will give other opportunities and people will consider opening their homes to foster care and adoption,” said Terri. “There is such a big need for families in Arkansas, and we will be the first to tell you, it’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. Lots of prayer and love is what made this possible.
Most people take for granted the fact that they wake up every day to their own families. Not just kids. Adults also take this for granted. In the end, though, it’s the little things. The little things that are in actuality big things. Being loved. Being able to sleep without fear. Being wanted.
You can follow the Hawthorn family’s journey on their YouTube channel.
All photos via Micah Hawthorn’s Facebook