A family has adopted nine children from foster care to make sure that all the siblings can stay together.
Peggy Smith and her husband Jacob had no children until they came across a plea to help the kids on Facebook.
The young couple are now first time parents to four children who range in age from a few months old to four.
They decided to join forces with Jacob’s parents Thad and Loryn to adopt all nine children who “have a bond so tight they cannot be split up”.
The smith family L-R Thad, Jacob, Loryn and Peggy with their huge adopted family (L-R) Jorge, Desiree, Angel, Jayden, Heavenly,Evan, Brianna, Jaylene and the new baby (Image: Caters News Agency)
Peggy, 28, and Jacob now look after the youngest four kids while the remaining five siblings, aged between eight and 14, live with Thad and Loryn just a few doors down in Tampa, Florida.
Full time college student Jacob said: “I saw a group of siblings that needed adopting on Facebook.
“I mentioned that I would love to be able to help and my mum called to ask if I was serious about it.
“She suggested we take the younger ones and they adopt the older ones to keep them altogether.
“It’s just crazy that it all came from a Facebook post.
“A few days later we had four children at our door. We went from having no children to effectively having nine.”
The family adopted nine children because they didn’t want them to be separated (Image: Caters News Agency)
The two families live just a few doors down so the siblings can see each other regularly (Image: Caters News Agency)
Wife Peggy added: “We do know this is probably the hardest thing we will ever do.
“We thought it was crazy, but we thought why not? Why not this family?
“We have a home. Why not grow our family this way?
“We actually didn’t know there was a ninth baby. There were only eight children in the original post.
“But we got an email saying ‘mum had number nine’. So that’s when we found out.
“He has just been a dream.”
Thad and Loryn are looking after the older children (Image: Caters News Agency)
Peggy and Jacob are looking after the youngest four (Image: Caters News Agency)
Jacob’s mum Loryn added that the most important thing was to make sure the siblings could grow up together.
She said: “We’ve heard so many people say ‘You’re crazy! What are you thinking? You were down to one child’.
“Our response is, there is no doubt we are crazy but we have parented 15 children full time and fostered over 100 children through our years as foster parents.
“We feel it boils down to if not us, then who?
“We received a card from our 10-year old soon to be daughter, in it she wrote ‘Thank you for letting us be in your home, you saved us from being separated’.”
The family are now working with the Promise Love Foundation to try and raise the money needed for two cars to fit their expanded family.
To donate visit promiselovefoundation.org/blog/smith-story