My name is Stacey Cowan. My husband, Jerry, and I have 12 children, including his, mine and those we have adopted.
Seven of the children still live at home. Paul, 15, is Jerry’s son. Our adopted children are Marshall, 14; Alexus, 10; Hailey, 7; MaKayla, 7; Chance, 5, and Hayden, 2 1/2. Marshall, Alexus and Hailey are half-siblings. They are Jerry’s sister’s children. MaKayla, Chance and Hayden are also half-siblings.
We adopted Chance first in February 2016. Marshall, Alexus and Hailey joined our family through adoption in June 2016. MaKakyla and Hayden were adopted this month.
It all started in 2010, when Marshall and Alexus joined our family as foster children, even though we weren’t licensed at that time. After Marshall and Alexus returned to their birth mother, we discussed becoming licensed foster parents. We liked the idea of offering children love, structure and stability until they could return to their homes. We took the necessary classes and became a licensed foster home in December 2011.
Our first foster children, a brother and sister, arrived the day we got our license. It was two days before Christmas. I called my two grown daughters, gave them money, and sent them shopping for Christmas gifts!
We didn’t plan to adopt when we started this journey. It just happened. When children live in your home for years, they become a part of your family and your heart. You love them like your own. When they don’t return to their biological families, it seems natural to adopt them.
A Stronger Family
Adoption has made our family stronger and closer. It takes the entire extended family to make adoption work. We are lucky that our entire family has embraced every child in our family. I believe we have an even stronger family bond then we did before. Adoption is very near and dear to us. We now have six beautiful kids that we love with all our hearts that we wouldn’t have had. Through adoption kids that might not have had a family and home have both. We couldn’t imagine our life without them.
In the end, everyone is great! The children had lived with us for so long that adoption didn’t really change things for them. But we know that they are officially our children forever. When MaKayla found out we had a court date to finalize the adoptions she was so excited, jumping up and down with a huge smile on her face!
Many of our friends and family say they would love to adopt or do foster care, but they’re not sure they would be good at it. Anyone who has a love for children can foster or adopt. We aren’t perfect parents. We make mistakes and do the wrong thing at times. But that is no different from any family. It has been a blessing for us and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. We love every single one of our 12 kids — bio, step and adopted!