And they already have five biological children of their own!
Having five kids can be a bit of a handful at the best of times, but when you throw in another six — in one day — well, you’re asking for a whole lot more work, but hopefully a whole lot more love, too. It takes courage (and a little touch of daring) but this is exactly what Christopher and Christina Sanders from Ohio signed up for when they recently fulfilled a promise they had made to each other when they started fostering children.
As biological parents to five children, the Sanders know the joys being in a family can bring: that feeling of unity that stems from shared experiences and family goals, and a common love for each other. So it’s no surprise the couple decided that when fostering they would do their best to keep siblings together to avoid the inconvenience of all the to-ings and fro-ings from one place to the next, and the emotional stress siblings can have when separated from each other.
What they didn’t realize at the time is that this decision would be tested straight away when they welcomed their first lot of foster kids back in 2014: Caleb, Coby, Christian, Caylee, Carson and Chloe, who have now become full-fledged Sanders themselves when adoption papers were signed in Hamilton County by Probate Judge Ralph “Ted” Winkler last week (we love the fact they all have their first initial matching with their new mom and dad!) .
It takes a special person to welcome strangers into their family and care for them, but Christopher credits his wife’s “big heart” that is “starting to rub off” on him for this unusual adoption. And looking at the photos of their new family that has more than doubled, the joy and love on all of their faces shows just how huge all their hearts seem to be.
When Judge Winkler asked if any of the kids wanted to talk, 14-year-old Christian took the opportunity to thank his new mom and dad for “changing his life,” with Caleb, 13, saying: “I would not know where I’d be right now if it wasn’t for the Sanders. We (were) having a rough life, before.” Whereas Caylee, who is 12, simply added: “I’m happy that I’m here because everything is wonderful.”
The Sanders’ biological daughter Caitlin also spoke of her bond with her newly official sister Chloe: “She’s the sweetest sister ever and I love her so much.” With all that love in the air it was understandable that there were a few tears in court.
This remarkable family of 13 seems so united in love and although there are obvious physical differences between the siblings, Christopher added that: “We’re all the same in God’s eyes, so the color of anyone’s skin has never had a bearing on any of this.”