Parenthood
Family of 4 grows into a giant family of 12 after they adopt 8 siblings at once
Mike and Hayley went into an orphanage thinking they'd be adopting one child. However, after meeting a group of eight beautiful siblings, everything changed.
Colby Maxwell
09.30.22

When you adopt a child, it’s a really big deal. Even outside of the massive life change, schedule upheaval, and monetary changes, you are now responsible for another human life! Adopting a single child brings with it all those crazy changes, but adopting eight? Now that just seems wild.

Pexels - Pavel Danilyuk
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Pexels - Pavel Danilyuk

For Hayley and Mike Jones, adopting eight children wasn’t the plan, but it was what they decided to do.

YouTube - Humankind
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YouTube - Humankind

“We had always talked about adoption even when we were dating and had always known that we wanted to adopt from the continent of Africa,” says Hayley. “We always thought we would adopt a little boy.” – USA Today

The Jones’ had always wanted to adopt, but they simply couldn’t help themselves when they went on a trip to Sierra Leone. The couple had decided to visit the region in West Africa with the intention of adopting a little boy. When they walked into the orphanage, however, their minds totally changed.

YouTube - Humankind
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YouTube - Humankind

While in the orphanage, they decided they didn’t want to adopt just one boy… they wanted to adopt eight children!

YouTube - Humankind
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YouTube - Humankind

Anyone that has done work in lower-income regions knows just how touching the stories of people can be. As Hayley and Mike sat in the orphanage in Sierra Leone, they heard the story of a group of siblings that had lost their father in a boating accident. Listening to the kids tell their story, the couple’s hearts broke.

YouTube - Humankind
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YouTube - Humankind

After talking together, they decided to do something incredible – adopt all eight siblings so they wouldn’t be separated.

YouTube - Humankind
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YouTube - Humankind

“The weight of eight was just so much. So, just had to really pray and seek God’s guidance on it. And he just clearly told me that the eight was what we had to do.” – USA Today

Although the couple had only intended to adopt a single boy, the thought of separating the siblings was terrible. They couldn’t bear the idea of splitting the family apart after such a tragedy. Sitting down to talk and pray, they finally made a decision; eight was just the right number!

To make matters even wilder, the couple already had two children of their own.

YouTube - Humankind
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YouTube - Humankind

 ”We felt like Noah building the Ark,” says Hayley. “We had people from church come and help us, like build some rooms out in the basement of our house. We re-did our kitchen. We did all of this, just preparing for the children.” – USA Today

Although they decided to adopt all eight kids, the process took much longer than expected (as anyone who has adopted will know). Ultimately, it would take three years to get all eight kids to their home in Franklin, Tennessee.

YouTube - Humankind
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YouTube - Humankind

Finally, years later, they are all living as a family.

Soccer practice, dinner, and making friends was soon on the agenda for the massive family. Still, it was a life that the siblings had only dreamed of – even if there were some adjustments to make!

“It was a big adjustment because not knowing the goals of soccer or anything was really hard for me,” says Michael. “And then not able to talk to the coaches about how to play the game because of English. Also, I was like, man, my feet are light. And then I put on the cleats; they’re so heavy on my feet. So, I told my dad, I was like, “Hey, dad, is there a way I can take off these cleats and just play barefoot?”

YouTube - Humankind
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YouTube - Humankind

Just when you think this family couldn’t get any more beautiful – Mike and Hayley actually had another child after the adoption – bringing them up to 13!

YouTube - Humankind
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YouTube - Humankind

Isn’t this a wonderful story? Check out a recent video of the family below!

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By Colby Maxwell
hi@sbly.com
Colby Maxwell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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