Couple adopts 7 siblings together: 'They didn't need to lose each other'
DERBY, KS - A set of seven brothers and sisters were adopted together after being separated for over a year in foster care.
Emerson, 12, Autumn, 11, Jaxon, 9, Journey, 8, Jace, 7, Piper, 5, and Sawyer, 3, found their forever home on Wednesday thanks to their new adoptive parents, Lisa and Gary Fulbright.
"Everyone was ecstatic, it was a full courtroom," Lisa Fulbright told Good Morning America. "Autumn, she woke up this morning, stretched and her first words were, 'I'm adopted!'"
Lisa and Gary Fulbright already had a combined seven children from their previous marriages. The couple also shares a biological son together, Logan, 17.
Since all of their children except Logan had moved out, the Fulbrights decided to become foster parents. Three years ago, they adopted a pair of siblings -- Hannah, 10, and Levi, 8.
Then, in Feb. 2017, three brothers, Jaxon, Journey and Jace, came into their care. The Fulbrights would often invite their other siblings over for holidays so that Emerson, Autumn, Jaxon, Journey, Jace, Piper and Sawyer could all be together.
June of that same year, Emerson and Autumn joined their brothers at the Fulbright's home. Piper and Sawyer followed in February 2018.
Lisa Fulbright said she and her husband fell in love with all seven kids, who came from a neglectful family and were into care by the state of Kansas. Saint Francis Ministries, an organization that provides foster care and adoption services to children in state custody, asked the Fulbrights if they would consider adopting all of the siblings.
"Not too many people are willing to adopt seven together and it was important to keep them together," Lisa Fulbright said. "They had been through so much they didn't need to lose each other."
"We took them for the first time roller skating, ice skating, we took them to their first movie--it's so much fun just to see that,” she said. “It's sad in a way too because they've been deprived of so much."
The Fulbrights immediately agreed to adopt the children, and on April 10, they made it official at the Juvenile District Court in Wichita. The family even wore custom jerseys to honor their favorite football team, the Kansas City Chiefs.
"It has been a wonderful experience to work with this family,” Veronicia Mills, Saint Francis Ministries adoption family support worker, told "GMA." "We are pleased these seven siblings could be adopted together and complete the Fulbright family."
"It can be challenging in adoption to keep siblings together,” said Megan Prothe, a licensed adoption permanency specialist, “but to do so makes a profound difference for children."
Lisa Fulbright said all seven of her children are kind-hearted and a whole lot of fun.
"It's kind of chaos but it's a fun type of chaos because we just love them," she added.