Life works in mysterious ways. The truth is that no matter our plans, things sometimes don’t take the turn we hope for. Other times, however, everything simply falls into place.
Julie Washington and her husband B.J had two beautiful daughters, but the thought of adoption has always been there. Eventually, they decided to open the doors to their hearts and home for three young siblings who were left orphaned and ended up in the foster system.
The thing was that the three siblings had another brother. Sadly, welcoming four boys wasn’t something this family was able to do. The youngest one, Elijah, was about to stay in the foster system unless someone adopted him.
This bothered the Washington family a lot. But then, something huge happened. Jay Houston, a friend of Julie residing in the same town who was already a mom of five, learned about Elijah and was determined to give him a loving home. So, she took then 17-month-old Elijah home around six months before the adoption was finalized.
“I’m the youngest of seven kids and I was adopted. Growing up, that’s always something I wanted to do. It was immediate (adopting Elijah). His former foster mom sent us a video of him laughing, smiling, crawling and I knew he would fit right in,” Jay said.
“Kids in foster care come with such a negative stigma attached to them. These kids are kids and they just need love and I can’t explain how much these kids have changed my life. My husband and I are the lucky ones,” she added.
The best thing of all was that sweet Elijah could grow up around his siblings, despite the fact they won’t share a home together. Their moms, however, are very close friends and do all in their power for the brothers to spend as much time together as possible.
“When I found out about Elijah we were still in the process of bringing our boys home. We went from having two to five kids and one has special needs. We weren’t sure if we were able to take in another child. I knew how important it was to Houston to keep siblings together. They said they were open to having another child and we made a pact to keep them together so it kind of just fell into place,” Julie said.
The families are now even closer than before. Julie’s husband, B.J, who is a research assistant at the University of Georgia, said: “The adoption of all four boys has joined our two families for life. Our main goal is to make sure they have the bond that brothers would have in a traditional family.”
Jay’s husband shares the same thoughts. “Our lives are infinitely better because these boys are a part of it. I’m so glad that we decided to grow our family this way. People tell us often that our kids are lucky, but the truth is, we’re the lucky ones. We are the ones who have been blessed,” he says.
This story speaks compassion and love. We definitely need more people like the Washington and the Houston families in this world.
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Love and Peace