A Florida couple are keeping seven brothers and sisters together who have been divided by four different foster homes.
DaShoan and Sofia Olds, both 33, told ABC News that the adoption of Necia, 12, Eric, 10, Erica, 10, Zavian, 9, Dava, 8, Keyon, 5, and Reggie, 4, will become official in September.
"It's just something you had to do," DaShoan Olds told ABC News. "My wife and I were blessed with a house that was too big for us. That would be so selfish of us to have the space [and] for us not to offer our home to them. I always felt that when you are blessed, you'll be a blessing."
DaShoan Olds, a high school math teacher and coach and his wife, Sofia Olds, a social worker, said they saw the story of the seven kids on a local news station Thanksgiving day.
The couple have been married for 13 years but never had children of their own.
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"It just wasn't in the plans for it to happen for us yet, and maybe this was the reason," said Sofia Olds. "We always wanted to do adopt children. We just didn't know it'd be seven."It was like an automatic connection to me," she added of meeting the kids. "It was fun. It felt relaxed, not forced. It was not uncomfortable, not overwhelming. It was like playing with children I've known my whole life."
Blair Bell, the children's representative and adoption specialist at the Life Management Center and Big Bend Community Based Care in Panama City, Florida, told ABC News that the kids faced personal challenges within their first household before spending two years in foster care. During that time, all seven became wards of the state.
"I had the sibling group of seven, which was going to be a quite challenging case to be able to find a home that would be able to take seven children," Bell added. "Even though they were in four separate homes, they were in really great foster homes. And the foster families and the Olds family worked so well during the transitions."
Sofia Olds said as soon as she saw a photo of the four boys and three girls, she knew they were "the children she was meant to mother."
"Looking at those faces, I could see the sweetness and the kindness knowing anything that happened in their lives wasn't their fault and if I can do anything to keep them together, I will. It was no question."
The Olds contacted Bell, who scheduled home visits and weekend visits for the couple and the children. On June 2, DaShoan and Sofia Olds brought the seven siblings home for the beginning of their required 90-day adoption placement before the adoption is legally recognized.
Mike Watkins, CEO of Big Bend Community Based Care, praised the Olds family for keeping the brothers and sisters together.
"This is a very unique opportunity that will change the lives of seven children today and a family for a lifetime," he told ABC News. "We can only imagine the possibilities that await the Olds family, while we laud their devotion and strength.”
Today, DaShoan and Sofia Olds describe their home as "full" and "happy."
"We're having a blast every day, all the time," Sofia Olds said. "I think you have to have a heart for what we're doing and we have the heart. All children deserve to have a mama and a daddy."
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