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Couple adopts 7 siblings in foster care after parents die in car crash

One Facebook post later, and this couple adopts 7 siblings. In short, that’s basically how this story goes, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard something more selfless. “I can’t explain it — I just knew I was supposed to be their mom,” Pam Willis shared [1].

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Pam Willis, 50, and her husband, Gary Willis, 53, have five biological children of their own. However, when their kids grew up and left the ‘nest,’ the couple started fostering children in need of a safe roof over their heads. Adoption was never really something they considered until Pam came across an article on Facebook.

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The family all dressed up for church
Image Credit: Pam Willis | Instagram

One January day, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when a news story post hit my heart like the biggest ton of bricks. “Seven Siblings in Need of Forever Home” it said. In that instant, their sweet smiling faces jumped off of the screen and into my heart. I tagged my husband in the post. I thought about them all day,” Pam shared in a post to her Instagram [2]. 

Who would have the time, and the love, and the patience for their trauma? The answer was clear… we would. Why else did we have a six bedroom house that was about to have it’s last child’s bedroom vacated? Why else would our nest that had raised our first five babies be empty just in time? It was only to make room for our new babies. They were ours from the minute we saw their faces on the news story,” she continued.

Couple adopts 7 siblings after seeing a trending Facebook post

Of course, Pam did have some hesitation before tagging her husband in the Facebook post. They’re in their 50’s and were getting ready to retire in a few years. “I thought Gary was going to tell me I was wacko — we were getting ready to retire” [1]. However, Gary’s reaction was quite different than what she had anticipated. 

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couple adopts 7 siblings and spends a winter night together in front of a decorated tree, wearing match pj's
Image Credit: Pam Willis | Instagram

“That evening I asked my husband if he’d seen the post. “Yes”, he said. “We should adopt them” My heart stopped. “We should“, I said… [knowing] deep inside that this mission was being placed before us. If not us, then who?,” [2]. 

The seven siblings lived in foster care for over a year and had a difficult life before that. Not only did the couple adopt seven siblings who had lost their parents to a car accident but the children have previous trauma including living in homeless encampments, going hungry, and parents who suffered from addiction.

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There’s no surprise the siblings all struggled with sleeping for the first six months of living in their new home. “I think they didn’t quite trust that we were real. Like maybe we were going to go away,” Pam said. “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,” [1].

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A family of 14

After fostering the kids, the couple adopted the seven siblings in August of 2020 and the family couldn’t be more excited! Additionally, Pam and Gary’s five biological children were able to attend the ceremony virtually.

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the couple and the 7 siblings are hanging out on the couch together
Image Credit: Pam Willis | Instagram

“It was awesome,” Pam said. “We brought a big TV screen out to the park so everybody could watch and cheer and be safe during COVID. There was so much love.”

Unsurprisingly, a storying of a couple adopting seven siblings has gone viral. On the family’s Instagram page, second.chance.7, the couple posted a quick, snappy and heartwarming video that shares their story from 1988. “They’ve given us a second chance at parenting, we’ve given them a second Mom and Dad,” Pam wrote. “They are our Second Chance 7” [3].

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Sources

  1. Couple adopts 7 siblings in foster care after parents die in car crashToday. March 30, 2021
  2. second.chance.7 – Instagram
  3. second.chance.7 – Instagram
Chloe Crawford
Freelance Writer
Chloe Crawford is a communications associate for TD Insurance. Before this role, Chloe pursued her honors undergraduate degree in business communications from Brock University. Chloe takes pride in her storytelling abilities – specifically the impact her advice articles, and her articles about Indigenous issues have made.
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