Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 16 October |
Saint of the Day: St. Gerard Majella
Aleteia logo
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Parents of five adult children adopt 7 orphaned siblings


second.chance.7 | Instagram | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 04/09/21

"It was what God wanted us to do."

Pam and Gary Willis were on the verge of starting a new life, as the youngest of their five kids was to about to head off into the world. But their plans were derailed when Pam came across the heart-breaking story of a a group of seven siblings needing a new mom and dad after a year in a foster home.

“I can’t explain it — I just knew I was supposed to be their mom,” shared Pam with Today Parents.

Having read about their plight, Pam sent the story to her husband, Gary. Later that evening, she asked Gary, an ex-Navy serviceman, if he’d read the story. Her husband simply replied: “We should adopt them.”

Yes, that’s seven kids — aged 1 to 12 at the time. Pam explained in an Instagram post that it was a natural decision, as their home was about to become child-free and all those bedrooms would be going to waste.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Pam Willis (@second.chance.7)

The couple contacted child services and offered their home and their love to the young orphans, who had a tough childhood with parents who had addiction problems. “It was what God wanted us to do,” shared Pam.

So the couple expanded their family to include Adelino, 15, Ruby, 13, Aleecia, 9, Anthony, 8, Aubriella, 7, Leo, 5, and Xander, 4. The children struggled, especially during the first six months, to believe that this would be their forever home, that Pam and Gary would be there to stay.

During the chaos of the pandemic, the Willises wanted all 12 of their children present as their new happy family became official. So the adoption process had to be complete before their youngest “bio child” headed off for missionary work, on August 11 last year.

Thankfully all of the older siblings, Matthew, 32, Andrew, 30, Alexa, 27, Sophia, 23, and Sam, 20, were present when the seven youngest were adopted, and the family held a COVID-safe celebration.

As the family grow together in love, they’re also growing in faith. During the pandemic they’ve been attending Zoom and parking lot church services. And finally, on Leecie’s 9th birthday this year, the family managed to go in person to church, the first time in over a year, much to the youngster’s joy!

For the couple, who met in their teens, life has taken an unexpected but joyful path. The children have “given us a second chance at parenting; we’ve given them a second Mom and Dad,” Pam expressed in her Instagram post.

Michelle Girard

Read more:
Teacher adopts 30-year-old former student with special needs who was wandering the streets

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Larry Peterson
This is the only officially recognized Marian apparition in the U...
Philip Kosloski
A scientist describes the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima
Cerith Gardiner
Nightbirde finds inspiration in Joan of Arc
Agnès Pinard Legry
Three brothers ordained priests on the same day in the Philippine...
Cerith Gardiner
Archbishop gives little girl a beautiful response about why God a...
Philip Kosloski
Vatican II’s primary goal, according to St. John XXIII
Dolors Massot
Two sisters become nuns at the same time in Spain
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.