A Georgia couple officially turned their family of three to 10 on Tuesday when they adopted seven siblings who spent 1,359 days in foster care.
Jessaka Clark and her husband, Josh, met the seven siblings — Maria, Elizabet, Guillermo, Jason, Kristina, Katerin, James — in April 2016 after a case worker asked the couple if they would be interested in adopting them.
“My husband Josh and I both knew that we wanted to adopt children. We had decided this before we even met each other,” Clark told Fox News in an email on Wednesday.
“Josh has a heart for the thousands of children that don’t have parents and knew he wanted to bring some of them into his home.”
Clark said her parents where the ones who inspired her to adopt. They spent several years as foster parents while she grew up in New York. She also has two adopted brothers.
“They continue to have open doors to children who have aged out of foster care (most of whom were at the children’s home they worked at) and give them a place to live and be loved while they go through difficult times in their lives,” Clark said.
Clark explained that the adoption process took more than two years — starting in January 2015. After waiting a year and two months, they were finally approved to adopt. A few weeks later, they met the siblings, which they have nicknamed the “Super 7.” They moved in to the couple’s Georgia home in August 2016, and on Tuesday, the Super 7 were officially part of the Clark family.
“We waited 10 long months to finalize what we already knew in our hearts!” Clark added.
The Clarks also have a biological son, Noah. They said Noah welcomed his new siblings in immediately and that there was an “instant bond.”
“When we told the children about getting a court date, Noah jumped up and down with them because he thought he was getting adopted as well,” Clark joked, adding that it took a while for her son to understand the situation.
On Tuesday, Noah, dressed in a button down with a bowtie and suspenders, held up a poster that read: “I was an only child for 1,426 days. But today, May 9, 2017, I became a little brother.”
The Clarks hope their story will bring awareness to the need for adoption and foster parents in the United States. May also happens to be national Foster Care Month.
A family friend also started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the couple to help them upgrade their home for their expanded family.