Each raised in large families, Chris and Charity Brose knew when they married that they wanted a small, quiet family. Toward that end, they had two daughters.
But Friday they walked out of the Tarrant County Family Law Center with six children, including four younger sons and daughters the couple adopted during the annual Tarrant County Adoption Day and National Adoption Day.
The new Brose children were among 69 adopted from the county’s foster care system by 44 families on that morning.
“I was a little hesitant at first,” said Chris Brose, who grew up with seven siblings.
It turns out that the four children belonged to a distant cousin of Charity Brose, which is why Child Protective Services asked if it could place the two younger children — Kaylee, 3, and Madison, 1 (she turns 2 on Thanksgiving), with the Broses in August 2015. Then in March they got another call from the agency asking if they would also take the girls’ older brothers — Lane, 5, and Gabriel, 4, to keep them together. All four were officially adopted on Friday.
“We were just getting used to four kids,” Chris Brose said, adding that experience helped prepared them for the family expansion to six kids.
The plans for a small family are now off the table, but Charity Brose called it fate. “This is definitely how it’s supposed to be.”
Nationwide, about 425,000 children live in foster care, nearly 112,000 of whom are waiting for adoption. As of the first of November, 867 children were in the Tarrant County foster system.
“Tarrant County Adoption Day is one of hundreds events across the country promoting adoption and creating forever families for kids in foster care,” Abbey Kirby, co-chair of the event committee this year and a Fort Worth attorney, said in a statement from ACH Child and Family Services. “The smiles, laughter, and tears of joy at the event are all you need to see to understand how important this day is to each of the families and their children. It is a day they will never forget.”
“It was amazing,” said Jill Anderson, marketing director for the Fort Worth-based ACH Child and Family Services, who served on a committee that organized the Adoption Day event. “It was really beautiful, and something incredible to witness, for being my first time.”
The fourth floor of the Family Law Center was full of energy and festivity, with dozens of balloons and many volunteers donning super-hero costumes cheering up the entrances to the courtrooms.
Nancy Chillers of Fort Worth, a volunteer with local adoption services, wore a green cape that she was told represented the Incredible Hulk, as she tended to one of the refreshment tables.
“I think it’s wonderful — a new beginning, for families and kids right before the holidays,” Chillers said. “It’s a great way to start the holidays.”
Rylea Brose, 10, who along with 9-year-old sister Layla are the family’s biological children, agreed.
“I’m excited. I wanted a baby sister,” said Rylea, who got twice that when the two youngest adoptees arrived last year. “And then I get surprised — I’ve got brothers. It was much to take in in less than a year.”
The couple’s families have chipped in to help provide the necessities of an expanded family — car seats, beds and so on.
Charity Brose’s mother, Rhea Nell Jones, who raised six children of her own, said she, also, didn’t plan on a large family. So she believes her daughter and son-in-law will be successful parents.
“They just love kids, and they are generous,” said Jones. “They’ve got a lot of room in their hearts.”
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