Email posting "We Need a Mommy and Daddy" leads to the adoption of these 5 amazing kids from the same family...
It’s one thing to sponsor a child in need. But try actually inviting not one but five of them into your home and into your family.
This is the challenge that Scott and Lauren Sterling, of Blue Springs, Mo., have decided to take on. They’ve adopted five Peruvian orphans -- two girls and three boys ranging in age from 9 to 17. Overnight, their family doubled, and their lives changed drastically. This is just the beginning.
The Sterlings’ “crazy story” started in January 2011. According to Lauren’s blog, a friend of theirs met the five siblings in an orphanage near Pacasmayo, Peru. The siblings’ parents had died of tuberculosis six years earlier. The eldest, Yhonson, did not want to split his family up. The kids persuaded the Sterlings’ friend to send out a mass email. The subject line read “We need a mommy and daddy,” and pictures of all five were attached.
When Scott and Lauren saw the email, they noted how beautiful the kids were.
“I even thought ‘Someone rich should adopt them,’” Lauren writes in her blog.
The Sterlings already had two daughters -- 17-year-old Logan from Scott’s previous marriage and 1-year-old Laney. They had their hands full and were living what Lauren called a “normal” life. Then, she had a chance to visit an orphanage in Guatemala. She saw firsthand how much the orphans there craved love. She spent days taking care of babies the same age as her own daughter. But Laney had a mom and dad and those kids didn’t.
The experience stuck with her.
"For 14 months after Laney was born, my faith has been motivated by fear, comfort, safety,” writes Lauren, a devout Christian. “My faith had always been a little wilder than that and I didn't like being so fear driven. After Guatemala, I knew I wanted to find my wild faith again.”
The Sterlings began to talk again about those five faces. The turning point came on Easter Sunday in 2011 when Scott, an associate pastor at Gateway Church in Blue Spring, Mo., said out loud that he was willing to take these kids as his own.
That was when the real challenge began. The Sterlings had to face months of paperwork and legal hurdles from both countries to make those kids their own.
And then there were finances. How would they feed five new mouths? Where would they get the money for weddings and college? Scott leads a lawn and landscape company, and Lauren decided to leave her job as a recruiter to care for her newly enlarged family.
“We may eat a lot of spaghetti. I will never buy another $100 pair of jeans again, and who cares?” Lauren told Fox4kc.
The Sterlings’ church rallied together to help the family raise $85,000 to finance the adoptions, Fox4kc reports. While Scott and Lauren went to Peru to finalize the adoptions, family and friends fixed up their home. They bought groceries, containers for school lunches and painted beds.
The five new members -- Betsi, Sibila, Joel, Gerson and Yhonson -- arrived in Missouri right after Christmas. They were greeted by around 30 people at the airport, Fox4kc reports.
The Sterling house is now a hectic mix of Spanish, English and Spanglish. The kids started going to school this January. All five need to be fed and shuttled off to different buildings in the mornings -- two are in elementary school, one in middle school, one at a freshman center, and one in high school. The transition to an English-speaking environment has been tough, but Lauren says that the kids have a great attitude.
“I cannot imagine a better situation with 5 new kids,” she writes. “I mean it, these kids are fabulous.”
The Sterlings plan to move their big family to a bigger home. It’s a tough road ahead, but the family continues to receive support from their friends and neighbors.
“It takes a village--and I LOVE my village!” she writes.
To follow the Sterlings' journey, read Lauren Sterling's blog here.