A LOVING couple adopted seven siblings after their parents were killed in a car crash – despite already having five of their own plus six grandchildren.
Pam and Gary Willis, from Menifee, California, decided to take in the young kids after reading about their story on Facebook.
The children lost their parents in May 2018 when the family’s car flipped on a highway, and with no family to take them in, they were at risk of being separated.
But thanks to thanks to Pam, 49, an attorney, and Gary, 52, a US Navy veteran, the four brothers and three sisters were able to stick together and were given a loving home which made them “immensely happy”.
Speaking to Metro, Pam said: “When I saw the news about the kids it made me so sad. I looked at them and could see they needed a forever home.
“I called the adoption service every week to show them how much I wanted to help these children.
“From the moment we first met them it was instant love. I looked at Gary and we both could see they are really great kids and knew we were doing the right thing.”
The couple were already used to helping kids in need, as the pair fostered children for several years, taking in two to three at a time.
And with their five children – Matthew, 32, Andrew, 29, Alexa, 26, Sophia, 22 and Sam, 19 – now grown up and moved out of home, they had plenty of space for the siblings who are all aged under 16.
Adoption wasn’t always a part of the plan, though, until Pam saw the news about the orphaned kids on Facebook.
Despite surviving the crash, unlike their parents, all seven of the young kids suffered from major injuries, but all made a full recovery before being rehomed.
Pam and Gary “didn’t think twice” before picking up the phone and calling the adoption agency.
In just a matter of weeks, the couple were given permission to visit and meet the kids – Adelino, 15, Ruby, 13, Aleecia, eight, Anthony, seven, Aubriella, six Leo, five and Xander, four – who had been living in a children’s home for one year.
“I hated the thought of having a big six-bed house that’s empty because my kids have grown up and moved out, Pam said, “I didn’t want to have all these rooms and no one to live in them.”
Three months later, in June last year, the couple finally became parents of 12, welcoming the grateful siblings into their home for the first time.
At first, Pam said there were some issues with settling in, such as gaining their trust and sleep disturbances, which were to be expected.
But they’ve since settled in nicely and have been “a joy” to have around – and they’ve already come around to calling them mum and dad.
Pam said they get along with her and Gary’s older children, and have even gone on family trips together, including to Disneyland Resort in California.
It’s now been 15 months since they’ve been a family, and Pam said the “magnificent seven” are happier now than ever before.
She said: “My older kids were very welcoming and treated the younger ones like their own. It is pretty full on looking after seven children so my older two daughters do help out whenever I need a hand.
“I have noticed how incredibly happy they are and that makes me so happy too, because that’s all we ask for.
“The oldest of the seven, Adelino, said to me recently ‘thank you for giving us this life’ and there is no other feeling like that.”
The mum-of-12 shares highlights on her Instagram page, which is filled with family snaps.
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