A Georgia couple adopted seven siblings from the foster care system this week, according to Atlanta’s WXIA-TV.
According to WXIA, Josh and Jessaka Clark always knew they wanted a big family. On their first date, Josh told Jessaka that he wanted to have 10 kids, and he wanted to adopt most of them. Jessaka liked that plan.
"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 told WXIA.
Several years later, after they were married and welcomed a son, Noah, who is now 3 years old, the couple began the adoption process. They expressed interest in adopting a group "of at least two or three" siblings in order to keep them together.
In March 2016, Josh got a phone call from adoption officials about a group of seven siblings who needed a home.
"When he got off the phone, he said to me, 'What do you think about seven?," Jessaka said. "I said, 'A 7-year-old?' He said, 'Well, there is a 7-year-old, but no ... seven children.'"
Jessaka said she was initially surprised, but they decided to go through with the adoption of the seven siblings after prayerful consideration.
"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."
They met the seven children a few weeks after the initial phone call, and the kids moved into their home in August 2016. They dubbed the kids the "Super 7."
"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."
The couple said they have received a lot of support from family, friends and members of their church.
"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," Jessaka said.
Jessaka said that Noah has adjusted well in his move from being an only child to a little brother.
"He has mentioned before how he wanted brothers and sisters and it was a seamless transition for him to become a brother,” she said. “He slid right into the role of younger annoying brother who fights with his 5-year-old brother James because they are two peas in a pod!"
May is National Foster Care Month, and Jessaka offered some advice to prospective foster and adoptive parents.
"It is not easy,” she said. “You have to know that you know that you 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!"
She said that the Clarks might not be finished growing their family — her children have a babysitter who is still in foster care, and they want to adopt her as well.
"We would love to adopt her but we are limited in our house and can't take anymore children until we get more rooms," Jessaka said. "We also know that God has more in store so we want to make sure we have the space to grow."
Fox News reported that the Super 7 — Maria, 14; Elizabeth, 11; Guillermo, 10; Jason, 8; Kristina, 7; Katerin, 7; and James, 5 — officially became Clarks on Tuesday. The children spent more than three years in foster care before their adoption.
"We waited 10 long months to finalize what we already knew in our hearts!" Jessaka told Fox News.
WXIA reported that a family friend of the Clarks have set up a GoFundMe page to help them purchase a larger home for their new family.