A Hot Springs, Arkansas, family got an early Christmas present by officially adopting seven siblings together.
KTHV reported that Terri and Michael Hawthorn decided to foster children years ago, but didn’t plan to adopt.
“Our first words were, ‘OK, we’ll do it for a couple of years but we will not adopt,’” mother Terri Hawthorn said.
The couple, who has four adult biological children, adopted siblings Korgen and Haizlee in April. They then worked to adopt a group of seven other siblings. The adoptions were finalized Dec. 3 after nearly three years in foster care.
Before joining Terri and Michael Hawthorn, the seven siblings spent a lot of time going to different homes and schools, not always having a bed to sleep in or food to eat, according to KTHV.
“The only times we got to eat is when our neighbors would sneak us a bag of chips,” Kyndal said. “We didn’t have a can opener, and they’d give us the cans that we didn't know how to open. So sometimes we just didn’t eat.”
“When I got here I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, we get our own beds,’” Layna said.
“It feels so great knowing we have a family now and won’t have to go anywhere else,” Dawson Hawthorn, the oldest sibling, said.
Terri Hawthorn is thankful.
“They are a blessing,” she said. “Every day these kids wake up and they are giggling and they are happy, and you see the smiles on their faces, that’s what makes this worth it.”
“This has been the best Christmas I could ever have, actually knowing I have a mom and dad,” Kyndal said.
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