California couple Pam and Gary Willis were empty nests when they adopted seven orphaned siblings.
Pam and Gary Willis looked forward to being empty nests.
Throughout their marriage, the Californian couple had a large, beautiful home full of children – five of their own and foster children.
You were ready for the next chapter. Her youngest child was about to move out and the big six bedroom house would be quiet for the first time.
But then Pam saw an ad on Facebook seeking forever homes for seven siblings between the ages of 15 and four.
The children’s parents had died in a car accident and the children had since moved from nursing home to nursing home.
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The new family has had many ups and downs, but Pam says it is normal now and “normal is good”. Photo: Instagram
“It felt like our mission”
Adelino (15), Ruby (13), Aleecia (9), Anthony (8), Aubriella (7), Leo (5) and Xander (4) lost their parents when their car rolled over when the family did Left freeway.
Even before that, life had been tough for the large family.
Her parents fought the addiction and the family lived in homeless camps.
Pam and Gary were so moved by their story that they applied for all seven children to be adopted.
“I felt like God wanted us to do this,” said Pam of her decision, adding when she called she found that thousands of others had also requested to adopt the children.
But it should be like that. Two months later, the couple was notified that they had been put together with the children.
After suffering so much trauma, the children had a hard time at first.
“I think they didn’t quite trust us to be real. Like maybe we’re going away.
“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. “
The family was recently on vacation in Hawaii. Photo: Instagram
“Who would hold them together?”
Pam and Gary are now parents to 12 children, four children-in-law and eight grandchildren.
Pam regularly writes on Instagram about her life with her seven adopted children.
“Our empty nest, once full of love, has seven new additions with a second chance to thrive! Bio, care, adoptive … just called me mom, ”says the profile description.
In a post, Pam explained her decision to take the children in.
“We knew deep down that this mission was before us. If not us, who will? They had been in foster care for a year since their parents were killed in the car accident they all miraculously survived.
“Who would hold them all together? Who would have the place for them? Who would have the time and the love and the patience for their trauma? The answer was clear … we would, “she wrote.
Pam knew the most important thing was to keep the children together. Photo: Instagram
“It takes a while to get used to seven new children at the same time.”
Pam regularly reflects on her life with the new family members.
“Next week it will be 18 months since the children moved in,” she wrote in a post last November.
“There were obviously a lot of adjustments that had to happen for all of us when we became a family.
“I’m sure I don’t really need to explain how seven children moving in at the same time take a while to get used to.”
She said they were in a very good place where things were “normal”.
“Normal is good,” she wrote.
Despite receiving a lot of support, Pam finds it difficult to endure online negativity. Photo: Instagram
“People say rude things and it hurts me so much.”
Unfortunately, for all good, the couple will still fall victim to trolls.
“When people say rude things on the news weekly, it starts to bother a person,” wrote Pam.
“To learn that I display my kids like animals in a zoo hurt me so much that I can’t even explain the pain.
“Because they are adopted, can’t I show them off like others with organic children? I can’t share medical challenges and studies like others?
“These are my children. Why are they different, because they are adopted, from someone’s organic children?
“It is not fair.”