An American couple adopted seven siblings aged 1 to 12 after their parents lost their lives in a dangerous car accident.
The children had been in foster care for more than a year after their parents were killed in a car accident before being noticed by a woman, Pam Willis, scrolling through her Facebook feed in 2019. She read the messages from the siblings who were in need of permanent homes.
The children, ages 1 to 12, had been in care for more than a year after losing both parents in a terrible car accident.
Pam Willis, 50, told parents TODAY that she can’t explain and all she knows is that she should be their mom.
She tagged her husband, 53-year-old Gary Willis, to see the article. The couple, who share five adult children and live in Menifee, California, had sponsored children for years but never discussed adoption.
“I thought Gary was telling me I was crazy – we were getting ready to retire,” Pam admitted. But to Pam’s relief, Gary felt the same way she did.
“It was what God wanted us to do,” said Pam.
That night they called the number listed at the end of the story.
“We were told they had received thousands of calls,” Pam recalled.
Two months later, Pam and Gary were compared to Adelino (15), Ruby (13), Aleecia (9), Anthony (8), Aubriella (7), Leo (5) and Xander (4).
The children, Pam learned during the screening process, had experienced great trauma. Her late parents struggled with addiction and the family often lived in homeless camps. Food was scarce.
“It was easy to connect with the little ones. They just desperately wanted consistency, ”Pam revealed. The two older ones were a bit trickier.
“I think they didn’t quite trust us to be real. Maybe we would go away, ”said Pam. “I think it’s so hard to trust when so much has been taken from your life. Ruby didn’t know how to be a kid. She had to be a mother figure at a very young age. “
For the first six months, the children had problems sleeping. There were frequent nightmares.
“One night my then 7-year-old came into our room,” recalled Pam. “I asked her, ‘Did you have a bad dream? ‘And she replied, “No, I just wanted to make sure you were still here.”
Pam isn’t going anywhere. Last August, she and Gary adopted Aleecia and her six brothers and sisters. Pam and Gary’s biological children, Matthew (32), Andrew (30), Alexa (27), Sophia (23) and Sam (20), virtually took part in the emotional ceremony.
“It was fantastic,” said Pam. “We put a big TV screen in the park so everyone can watch and cheer and be safe during COVID. There was so much love. “
The story of Willis was recently caught by actress Kristen Bell after Pam shared an Instagram video titled “Our Lives in 15 Seconds!” Bell was so touched by the footage that she posted it on her Instagram story.
The clip begins with Pam and Gary first meeting as teenagers in 1988 and ends with adoption.
“They gave us a second chance at parenting, we gave them a second mother and a second father,” wrote Pam. “You are our second chance 7.”