Imagine that you’re longing for a few more children, but would rather help ou a child in need than get pregnant again. This could mean adoption, or even fostering. Now, imagine that there’s something very wrong with the child that you’ve brought into your home. What would you do?
That was the question that Lisa and Steve found when they decided to become foster parents. They already had a family of their own – 2 children but wanted more. Then they fostered a baby girl with a terrible problem.
What they did next will astonish you and boost your faith in humanity – it’s truly incredible.
12. Meet Lisa and Steve
Lisa and Steve already had a happy family. They and their 2 children lived in Phoenix, Texas. Meghan and Kevin, their kids, were loved and cared for. Lisa, however, still felt that she had more love to offer for other children and together they made the decision to become foster parents.
11. Enter Erin
Foster parenting is strictly regulated by the state so that the children who go into foster care have the highest chance of receiving good care. It took over 2 years for Lisa and Steve to be accepted as foster carers. Then one day, baby Erin arrived in their lives bearing a huge burden.
10. She Was an Addict!
As you might expect, Erin’s biological mother had problems, which is why Erin needed foster care. She was a drug addict and sadly for Erin she had passed that addiction on to her baby. Erin was completely addicted to drugs and about to go through withdrawal. What Steve and Erin did next was amazing.
9. A Happy Family
Firstly, the couple nursed baby Erin back to health and took care of her through the difficult period of withdrawal. She’s pictured here with her new siblings and you can see she’s a happier, healthier baby already. Erin made a full recovery and then Steve and Lisa took the next step.
8. Enter Jacob
Erin had a big brother, Jacob. You won’t be surprised to learn that Jacob’s life was hard too. So Lisa and Steve opted to foster Jacob. They needed a lot of patience and care for him because he didn’t speak English. Then things changed dramatically for the children.
7. A Real Family
In March 2007, Steve and Lisa decided to take their childcare to the next stage. They formally adopted Erin and Jacob and transformed their lives from foster care to adoptees. But that was only the beginning for Steve and Lisa’s journey as parents – the family was happy but they felt they could do more.
6. Meet John
Given their success with Erin, the couple fostered another baby – John. John, as had been the case with Erin, was also a drug addict thanks to his mother’s addiction. Poor John was also diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum too. The couple had their hands full at this point.
5. Four More!
Looking after 5 children still wasn’t enough for the couple and astonishingly they then took in another 4 foster children. Abigail, Anthony, Nathan and Emily were all brothers and sisters prior to fostering and as with the other foster children, their lives were troubled before meeting Lisa and Steve.
4. Making it Official
2011 was a special year for all the children in Steve and Lisa’s care. It was the year in which the family became a formal family as one because the couple officially adopted all the children living under their roof. Their family had grown from 2 adults and 2 children to 11 people!
3. 11 Years Later
11 years have passed since Erin arrived in the family’ s lives. Meghan and Kevin, Lisa and Steve’s first children, have left home and the others are now aged between 7 and 19. They make a fantastic family photo here where you can see how close they all are.
2. Meghan Got Married
Meghan tied the knot with her beau Isaac in 2012. The couple is still heavily involved with her younger brothers and sisters. They regularly arrive at the house to help out with chores and they also plan exciting days out for their siblings. They’ve been to a theme park together recently.
1. Sharing Their Incredible Story
The family are all still together and all still going strong. They now run a YouTube channel which is called Gapeedo. This lets well-wishers see how the family plays together and grows together and gives insights into the lives of this extraordinary couple and their beautiful children – it’s captivating.
It takes an extraordinary person to rise to the challenge in the face of adversity. Lisa and Steve can’t have expected that their decision to foster would bring such unusual circumstances to their front door.
Yet, instead of quailing at the problem and letting it damage their life, they brought all their love to bear on it and Erin’s life was renewed for it.
That single step on an extraordinary journey that brought them together as a family of 11 took real courage.
We salute you, Lisa and Steve. You are fantastic examples of how the world can be made better by good people.