PARKER, Colo (CBS4) – When a child finds his or her forever family it changes the trajectory of their life. That is certainly the case for the children that Doug and Debbie have adopted in the last seven years.
“We laugh more,” Doug said of brood of children.
Laughter seems to be what keeps this family going.
“It’s fun,” said 16-year-old Josiah.
“I can say I’m never bored,” said 17-year-old Micah with a laugh.
“It’s fun,” said 12-year-old Jillian.
“It’s pretty fun,” said 16-year-old Adam.
When the family of 12 gets together there is a lot of fun to be hand, and a trip to Boondocks Fun Center in Parker is no exception.
“It’s like a carnival,” said 6-year-old Beniah of his big family.
But the carnival comes with challenges too. Doug and Debbie have adopted six children, after having four of their own.
“We started saying only the hard kids. We want the kids that may be less adoptable, lot of times have had 6, 7, 8 homes. We like doing that because if you stick with them, they really become solid,” Doug explained.
Micah and his biological sister, Jillian, suffered severe neglect. Both were severely malnourished.
“When he came he was 10-years-old. He was probably 45 inches tall, so exactly 4 feet, weighed 50 pounds,” Debbie said of Micah.
Now he eats like a king and is getting ready to go to college.
“Beforehand I didn’t know what was going to happen and I have anxiety so now it’s a whole lot better. Life’s a lot better,” Micah said of his new family.
“I think that kids deserve to be adopted because like what kid doesn’t deserve a family?” Jillian said to CBS4.
“These are kids who have been in homes that were out of control, didn’t have boundaries, so teaching boundaries has been a huge part of what we have done,” Debbie told CBS4.
“They’re great people. I love them,” Adam said.
Adam chose Doug and Debbie to be his parents, then they found his twin brother and adopted him too.
“It feels great to just like not have so much anger all the time. And just be in one place, and peaceful, knowing you’re not going to be moving the next week,” said 16-year-old Noah, Adam’s twin brother.
“They’re twins. To separate twins, there’s just no way that’s a healthy thing,” said Debbie.
6-year-old Beniah shows why he likes his new parents.
“That they didn’t do this,” he said while making a striking motion with his fist.
Now the family says Beniah is their clown.
“He’s is just fun, fun, fun… cracks up all the time,” Doug said of Beniah.
Doug and Debbie found 11-year-old Ty on the Adoption Exchange website.
“A year ago, at this point, he was just coming out of being institutionalized,” Doug said.
Now he’s settled into the family and credits adoption for giving him the stability he craved.
LINK: The Adoption Exchange
“It’s important because I feel like every child should have a family,” Ty told CBS4.
“There’s never a dull moment,” Josiah said of his adopted brothers and sister.
Doug and Debbie say that for the most part their biological children welcome their new brothers and sister.
“You get used to the group dynamic and how that kind of plays out,” said 18-year-old Caleb.
“We get to do a lot of stuff and hang out,” Josiah added.
“As the oldest, I get used to like a lot of people asking my opinion and stuff,” Caleb explained.
Everyone has stepped up to make this blended family work. Doug and Debbie know they’ve changed the path of some very vulnerable lives.
“Those kids were almost sure to go into society as major problems and now they go into society as awesome kids,” Doug said.