Pam and Gary Willis hit headlines after their heartwarming adoption story this week.
Pam Willis was scrolling on Facebook one day when she came upon a story that truly broke her heart – of 7 siblings left orphaned after a horrific car crash.
She shared the article with her husband, Gary, after feeling deeply moved by the children, who ranged in age between 1 and twelve.
“I can’t explain it — I just knew I was supposed to be their mom,” Pam told TODAY Parents – and luckily, Gary felt the exact same way.
Within months of seeing the story, Adelino, fifteen, Ruby, thirteen, Aleecia, 9, Anthony, 8, Aubriella, 7, Leo, 5, and Xander, 4, were all fostered by Pam and Gary.
But the road was far from smooth.
The children were all traumatized, both by the tragic death of their parents and the time they had spent in the foster care system.
“It was easy to connect with the little ones. They were just desperately craving permanency,” Pam explained, saying she had a harder time connecting with the older kids.
“I think they didn’t quite trust that we were real. Like maybe we were going to go away,” Pam said. “I think it’s so hard to trust when so much has been taken from your life. Ruby didn’t know how to be a kid. She had to be a mother figure at a very young age.”
There were other problems faced by the new family, too, including many of the children suffering from nightmares.
But they powered through, forming a truly beautiful and unique family bond. And in August 2020, all 7 children were formally adopted by Pam and Gary.
The ceremony was captured on Zoom, and the couple’s biological children Matthew, Andrew, Alexa, Sophia, and Sam all joined.
“It was awesome – we brought a big TV screen out to the park so everybody could watch and cheer and be safe during COVID. There was so much love.” Pam explained. “They’ve given us a second chance at parenting, we’ve given them a second Mom and Dad. They are our Second Chance 7.”
“I follow this family on Instagram.it seems they are pretty darn lucky this couple found them and adopted all of them. It would have been so heartbreaking for them to have been split! now they are very happy and thriving. God bless this couple for being their miracle!” one Facebooker commenter wrote.
“Amazing human beings. Every single one of them – parents and the amazing kids,” another added.
Consider our faith in humanity restored.