In 2012, Gabrielle and Shannon Fessenden, who already had two biological children, Scott and Gianna, decided to adopt. Gabrielle always knew she wanted children, but she never expected to have so many. However, fate had other plans for the family, and their lives would soon be forever changed.

Finding the Siblings and Overcoming Challenges

Gabrielle found three of the six siblings, Jordan, Jay, and Maya, on the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange website. She immediately knew that they were meant to be a part of their family. But the Fessendens’ journey was not without challenges. Gabrielle was aware that if they didn’t move quickly, the siblings would be separated, and their family decided to prevent that from happening.

Shannon was quickly on board with bringing the siblings into their home. With the help of Michigan’s largest private foster care and adoption agency, Samaritas, the Fessendens began the adoption process. But as they welcomed their new additions into their home, they discovered that several of them had additional siblings within the biological family. As a result, they eventually adopted five siblings into their family, and the sixth sibling joined them in 2019.

The Importance of Love and Resilience

The Fessendens acknowledge that every adoption journey is different, and some cases took longer than others. But their love for the children was unwavering, and they were determined to provide them with a loving and stable home. Raising eight children is never easy, but Gabrielle and Shannon found that having the older children chip in to care for their younger siblings made a significant difference.

Despite the challenges, the Fessendens’ story is one of hope and resilience. It highlights the importance of providing loving and stable homes for children in need. Love knows no boundaries, be it the number of children in a family or whether they share biological ties. The Fessendens’ story shines a spotlight on the beauty and diversity of families, proving that all that matters is the love that binds them together.

The Blessings of a Large and Diverse Family

Scott, the Fessenden’s biological son, stated that he would stare at his adopted brother Jordan for as long as possible every time they spent time together. While raising eight children is never straightforward, Gabrielle and Shannon acknowledged that having the older children chip in to care for their younger siblings made a significant difference. Simple tasks like grocery shopping could once be troublesome, but they had found their rhythm.

Despite the chaos, Gabrielle and Shannon reiterated they wouldn’t change a thing about their family. They spoke fondly of the love, joy, and blessings the children brought to their lives. They concluded that they could not imagine life without their children and acknowledged that their community’s support played a significant role in their parenting journey. Gabrielle stated that “it takes a village” to raise a family, and they were grateful for the love and support they had received along the way.

Inspiring Others to Open Their Hearts and Homes

The Fessenden’s story is a reminder that there are thousands of children in need of a loving home, and if more families like the Fessendens opened their hearts and their homes, the world would be a better place. Their inspiring journey of love, perseverance, and resilience will continue to inspire future generations to come.