Pam and Gary Willis from Menifee, California, already have five biological children and six grandchildren. All their children are all grown up now - Matthew, 32, Andrew, 29, Alexa, 26, Sophia, 22, and Sam, 19, have moved out. Despite having an empty nest, they never planned to adopt a kid, let alone seven siblings. That was until they learned about these seven sibling's sad story.
In January 2019, Pam was scrolling through Facebook, and a news report caught her attention. It was about seven siblings who survived a car crash that killed both their parents in May 2018. The accident left Adelino, 15, Ruby, 13, Aleecia, 8, Anthony, 7, Aubriella, 6 Leo, five, and Xander, four orphaned and homeless. And even if they found a new home, they will likely be separated.
View this post on InstagramOne year ago, a Facebook post from a friend changed our lives forever. . . I watched the news clip (link in bio) that accompanied the post, I typed a comment to my husband and tagged him (knowing he'd say I was crazy), and then couldn't stop thinking about them day in and day out. . . It actually took me a few days to call about them. But I knew the moment I saw them that I had to make sure they were safe and ok and in their "forever home". I was sure someone had already taken them in. . . When I found out that they were still in foster care, I knew they were meant to be mine. . As it turned out, when my husband saw the Facebook tag, he didn't say I was crazy. He knew too. He knew on a different level, but he knew. . . Today, we submit the last few pieces of paperwork to get our official court date. One year. ONE YEAR. My head may be spinning, but my heart is overflowing x 7 . . #fostercarejourney #fostertoadopt #fostermom #fosterdad #gettooattached #secondchanceseven #adoptionjourney #adoptionrocks #raisingseven #weareadopting #adoptionislove #fostermomlife #traumarecovery #childhoodtrauma #fosteryourheartout #liveintentionally #wearethevillage A post shared by Pam Willis (@second.chance.7) on Jan 3, 2020 at 8:10am PST
She felt how much they needed a home
Speaking to Metro, Pam, an attorney by profession, said that she felt sad upon learning about the kids' predicament. Just by looking at the children's photos made her realize how much they needed a forever home. Pam, 49, said she saw how much the kids needed someone to love them, given that they have no one else to go to. It was then that she started contacting the adoption service regularly to show their willingness to help the children.
Then, in March 2019, she and Gary, 52, were allowed to see the children, and "it was instant love." Gary, a US Navy veteran, said that their six-bed house had been empty since their children moved out, and he hated seeing the rooms empty with no one living in them. And while they initially had concerns, he said they knew what they wanted just as soon as they saw the orphaned siblings.
View this post on InstagramMatthew- 32. The oldest brother. The one who made us parents when we were 17 & 20. Matthew is married with 2 girls ages 3 & 1. They live an hour north of us! Andrew- 29. Middle child! Andrew is married & has has 3 children, a boy age 5 1/2, girls turning 4 & 2 next month. They live around the corner! Alexa- 26. First girl child! Alexa is married and just had her 3rd baby. She made me a grandma with my almost 6 year old granddaughter. Her boys are 3 & 2 months. She lives 4 hours away in Vegas. Sophia- 22. Middle child #2 . The newlywed. Just celebrated her 1st anniversary in July. She & her hubby live in Utah where he attends BYU...8 hours away. Sam- 19. Baby of the first bunch. Sam just left to do missionary work in Utah and the Dominican Republic. He'll be gone for 2 years. Adelino- 15. The oldest of the Magnificent Seven. He's just trying to be a teenage video game fanatic after being a babysitter all his childhood Ruby, almost 13! Dying to be a teenager!!! She was a mother from ages 6-11. Now she's just trying to be a kid . . Aleecia, Anthony, Aubriella, Leo & Xander...8,7,6,5,4. My little stair steps. We call them "the littles". They are so close in age that it's almost like having multiples sometimes! . This. Is. Us. Stay tuned for more adventures! . . . #adoptionstory #adoptionrocks #adoptionislove #adoptionday #adoptingseven #adoptionjourney #adoptionisbeautiful #momoftwelve #momminainteasy #momsofinstagram #familyphotographs #myfamilycomesfirst #familiesareforever #foreverfamily #mombloggers #mombloginfluence #mombloglove #squaresofmyheart #motherhoodinsquares #motherhoodthroughig #honestlymothering #allmychildren #parenthoodshared #thisisparenthood #parentingtalk A post shared by Pam Willis (@second.chance.7) on Aug 31, 2020 at 6:30pm PDT
Problems at First, But Everyone Eventually Adjusted
The kids had been in a children's home for a year, he said, and desperate for stability, which he and Pam can provide. They have a safe house and have the knowledge and experience needed to care for them.
And so in June last year, Pam and Gary welcomed the seven siblings into their home. However, having seven newly adopted children in the family didn't come without 'early teething problems," Pam said. There were trust issues, and the children had sleep disturbances initially but later adjusted to the changes.
View this post on InstagramYou guys! Seriously, their faces today have made it all worth it!!! . . . . . . #disneyland #disney #disneyday #happiestplaceonearth #fostercarejourney #fostertoadopt #fostermom #fosterdad #gettooattached #secondchanceseven #adoptionjourney #adoptionrocks #raisingseven #weareadopting #adoptionislove #fostermomlife #traumarecovery #childhoodtrauma #fosteryourheartout #liveintentionally #wearethevillage A post shared by Pam Willis (@second.chance.7) on Jan 30, 2020 at 5:50pm PST
Their "magnificent seven" has been with them for 15 months now and, in fact, has now bonded with Pam and Gary's older biological children. She said their older children were very welcoming and treated the kids like their own brothers and sisters. At one point, the oldest of the adopted siblings thanked them for "giving us this life." Pam said that seeing that the kids are incredibly happy with their newfound family makes her feel happy.
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