DALLAS, Ga. — We all remember the TV show the Brady Bunch. The series was about a family brought together by marriage.
However, Maddie, Zoe, Lizzie, Bella, and Will are five children brought together by adoption.
“The one thing about having so many kids is they always have somebody to play with. Always! They love each other,” said Nicole Barlow.
Nicole and Bruce Barlow, along with their son Aidan, were a family of three at first. That's until they decided to try their hand at adoption in 2013. They say they got involved through church.
“We thought, well we have extra space in our house and we have some time,” Nicole mentioned.
“God's call on everybody’s life is to care for orphans and widows. So we felt like this is what we should be doing,” said Bruce.
For two and years they were temporary foster parents to two boys. Then they decided to take a giant step.
In October of 2016, the Barlow’s met the five siblings, four girls and a boy. At the time, their parents’ rights were terminated, and the five children were staying with a temporary foster family.
“Their foster parent called me and said 'hey y’all don’t have placement right now. Would you be willing to consider adopting this sibling group,'” explained Nicole.
“You can imagine five kids. All the thoughts of how can we do five kids,” Bruce said.
In 2017, they made it official. The Barlow’s legally adopted Maddie, 11, Zoe, 10, Lizzie, 5, Bella, 4, and Will, 3, to ensure they would remain together.
11Alive first introduced you to the Barlow’s more than a year ago.
“It’s kind of like marriage. Everybody thinks oh, when you get married it’s your happily ever after and everything is magical from that point on,” said Nicole.
“I think people have the same sentiment about adoption in that this is that child’s happily ever after and, in a lot of ways, it really is, but it doesn’t automatically heal their loss.”
For this family, each day is a learning lesson. It’s a decision Bruce and Nicole say they have zero regrets about.
“There’s nothing unique about us. we are just regular people that said yes,” Bruce stated.
The Barlow’s say while full-time adoption may not be for everyone, metro Atlanta based organization FaithBridge Foster Care helps families to become temporary foster parents.