A Florida couple adopted seven siblings who were living in three separate foster homes, bringing all of the children under the same roof in time for Christmas.
According to NBC News, Sofia and DaShoan Olds are both veterans who served in Iraq. The couple now resides in Marianna, Florida, where DaShoan works as a high school teacher and coach, and Sofia is a social worker.
The childless couple said they saw a news story on Facebook about seven siblings separated by the foster care system. The story said the children dreamed of finding “a forever home” where they could all be together. Sofia and DaShoan said they immediately knew what they should do.
“I like to say I felt like it was a calling, honestly,” Sofia told NBC's "Today." “When I saw that picture, it was automatic.”
She added that “there was no question” in her or her husband’s minds as they sought to adopt all of the siblings.
“If they allow us to adopt these children, we will do it,” Sofia said. “We would do whatever it takes to make sure that we can care for them."
The couple is now parents to siblings Necia, Eric, Erica, Zavian, Dava, Keyon, and Gentry.
They credited their love for one another and their military backgrounds for preparing them to become parents to such a large family so quickly.
They also had to adjust their finances.
“We eat chicken instead of beef,” DaShoan explained with a laugh.
The couple said it was also important for the children to have a routine. When they get home from school, their homework must be done first before their free time or playing sports. They have some fun before they share a family dinner.
“They know the drill, they know the schedule, and they like the structure,” Sofia explained. “And they like the discipline and they help each other out. They help us out.”
What did the children say?
Eric, one of Sofia and DaShoan’s children, told NBC, “I never actually had a mom and dad under the same roof, but it feels great.”
“It's like they're both half of something, like peanut butter and jelly,” Eric said.
Eric added that he and his siblings had been separated for so long that “I almost forgot about somebody.”
Necia, the oldest of the siblings, said, “I was hoping that it could happen, so it’s like a dream come true.”