Kudos to all those parents with big families, because it certainly isn't easy to raise a bunch of kids. Recently, a mother of 2-year-old quadruplets posted a video of herself hiding in a closet to enjoy some candy in peace. Another brave couple from Britain has 19 kids and are expecting baby number 20!
What would you do if your family grew drastically overnight? I can't even imagine. Well, that's exactly what happened to the Clark family, who live in Georgia and have a 3-year-old son together.
When Josh and Jessaka Clark went on their first date, they both agreed they wanted a lot of kids. Even before they met each other, they'd decided separately that they wanted to adopt children one day.
"I grew up with a lot of foster brothers and sisters and my parents were foster parents so I was used to having lots of kids around the house," Jessaka explained.
After their son Noah was born, the Clarks applied to adopt more children. They wanted "at least two or three," but were surprised when the adoption office called in March 2016.
"When [Josh] got off the phone, he said to me, 'What do you think about seven?," Jessaka recalled. "I said, 'A 7-year-old?' He said, 'Well, there is a 7-year-old, but no... seven children.'"
The children were siblings or half-siblings and had been abandoned by their mother one day in Jesup, Georgia. 14-year-old Maria, 11-year-old Elizabeth, 10-year-old Guillermo, 8-year-old Jason, 7-year-old Kristina, 7-year-old Katerin, and 5-year-old James were all put in foster care. Rather than break the family up, the adoption agency suggested they get adopted by the same parents.
At first, Jessaka was hesitant. "My eyes probably got as big as his and we both said the same thing: 'We need to pray about this,'" she said. "We prayed that night and didn't sleep well because God told us that these were the kids for us."
All of the kids moved into the Clarks' home in Effingham County in August while they waited for their court date to make it official. While they adjusted to their new lives, family and friends came to the rescue whenever things got rough.
"Our lives have definitely been busier," Jessaka said. "We didn't have school-age kids before this, so that was new territory for us. But it has been fun! It was rough at first but we have settled into a routine of 'normalcy' so to speak."
"We had some moments where it seemed too hard and we felt ill-equipped, but that's where those unbelievable friends came to the rescue," she said.
How did Noah react to having 7 older siblings? According to Jessaka, he's adjusted well and loves being a younger brother.
After 9 months of "trial run," the Clarks finally made the adoption official and hired a professional photographer to commemorate the exciting change. After years in foster care, the "Super 7" finally had a real home.
On the day of their adoption, the happy parents woke their 8 kids up with party horns and confetti poppers.
"We were very excited," said Jessaka.
But this family isn't done growing. The Clarks hope to adopt the 7 siblings' baby sister, who is still in foster care, but currently they are living in a 3-bedroom house. Before they adopt more children, the couple needs more space for them. As things now stand, Jessaka is a stay-at-home mom and Josh works in the finance department at a motorcycle dealership.
"It is not easy. You have to know that God called you to adopt. And you need a lot of support! You will feel the greatest joys! And you will feel the biggest heart breaks. But just like there is pain in labor, at the end you get a beautiful child... or seven!" Jessaka said.
Watch a video of the adoption below:
The family has a GoFundMe page to help them buy a new home for their growing family. Click here if you want to help!
Did you find this story heartwarming? Make sure to SHARE it with your friends!