Approximately 7,000 children are currently waiting for adoption in Texas.
Proponents say teens, children with special needs, and sibling groups face more challenges in finding an eternal home. The North Texas family shared their story with NBC5 anchor Britney Johnson, hoping to encourage others to challenge and open their homes.
“Look at my husband and go. I have six kids. Well, yeah, a lot of laundry,” said Jonna Hensley.
More laundry, snacks, and love fill Hensley’s home since they first decided to become foster parents.
“We feel guided to do this through the Bible and God’s plan for our family,” Hensley said.
After having two biological sons (one with spina bifida), he adopted his daughter two years ago on National Adoption Day. They tried to figure out if they were open to raising more children, but they got a call from the case manager.
“Tell us that Stormy was my sister. The bonus surprise was that it was a twin,” Hensley said.
They consider whether to accept the placement and say it took only about two minutes to make a decision.
“We immediately said that, because these are her siblings, we wanted her to have a sibling, whether for a week or a lifetime,” Hensley said.
Jessica Sanders is the case manager for Buckner International. She says enough families don’t say “yes”, but studies show that keeping siblings together leads to better results, so they continue to try.
“We always educate our Buckner family about’Hey, what if I could get one more?’. What if you could take this brother with you? Since they are with their siblings, sometimes you will see better behavior and more attachment. “
Hensley says this experience taught children and neighbors important life lessons.
“For those who are vulnerable, or in need of something, there are ways you can help them and once again prevent our heads from sticking in the sand,” she said.
They completed the adoption of the twins in October and bought a larger dinner table.
They spend this Thanksgiving as an official family of eight.
“I have a quote I love. That is, if you have more than you need, build a long table instead of building a high fence. And when you buy that table, I have it in my head. I kept listening to it and thought it was. I’m building longer tables and incorporating more tables into the folds. This is what I love, “Hensley said.
November is adoption month. Advocates want more people to register to participate in adoption and foster care and learn more about other ways to support young people and their families.