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Posted: July 14, 2017

Couple adopts 7 siblings to keep them together

DaShoan and Sofia Olds, of Marianna, Fla., are adopting seven siblings - Necia, 12, Eric, 10, Erica, 10, Zavian, 9, Dava, 8, Keyon, 5, and Reggie, 4, - to keep them together. The siblings' adoption will become official in September.
DaShoan and Sofia Olds
DaShoan and Sofia Olds, of Marianna, Fla., are adopting seven siblings - Necia, 12, Eric, 10, Erica, 10, Zavian, 9, Dava, 8, Keyon, 5, and Reggie, 4, - to keep them together. The siblings' adoption will become official in September.

By Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

MARIANNA, Fla. —

A Florida couple has seen their dream of adopting a child come to fruition -- seven times over -- after deciding to adopt a group of siblings to keep them from being separated. 

The children, Necia, 12, Eric, 10, Erica, 10, Zavian, 9, Dava, 8, Keyon, 5, and Reggie, 4, were housed in four separate foster homes when DaShoan and Sofia Olds, of Marianna, saw their story on a local newscast on Thanksgiving Day. The couple, who have been married for 13 years, have always talked about someday adopting a child.

“It was a done deal from the day we saw the story,” social worker Sofia Olds told WJHG in Panama City Beach. “Before we even met them, it was a done deal.”

“It’s just something you had to do,” DaShoan Olds, a high school math teacher, 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.”

Sofia Olds said there was an “automatic connection” when the couple met the children. 

“It was fun,” she told ABC News. “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, an adoption representative and representative for the children, said that the children were in foster care for two years before the Olds family came along. The foster homes were good ones, but her goal was to find a home where all seven siblings could be together.

“I heard from so many people that finding a home for seven children would be impossible,” Bell told WJHG. “Siblings is the longest bond that you’ll have. It was very important to find a home that would be able to take all seven and make a real forever family.”

The Olds’ decision shined a national light on their newfound family. A friend of the couple’s has started a GoFundMe page to raise money to help the couple with extra expenses that will come up as they become parents of a large family. 

Many of DaShoan Olds’ former students were some of his biggest cheerleaders on social media. 

“Oh my goodness! It’s Mr. Olds,” one young woman wrote. “I had him as a math teacher my sophomore year! He’s a great person and a wonderful teacher. I’m so glad he and his wife are getting such wonderful blessings in their lives. Go, Mr. Olds!”

Another former student described the teacher as “one of the greatest human beings” he’s ever known and an “amazing role model and inspiration.”

“I remember the day you told me about your adoption plans,” the young man wrote. “I thought you were joking at first. You’re going to have your hands full for sure, but these new little ones will have their hands full with the kindness from your heart.”

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ABC News reported that once the couple contacted Bell, they scheduled home visits and weekend visits for the children to get to know them. All seven children went home with the Olds on June 2 for a 90-day placement that is required before the adoption can be legally recognized. 

The children’s adoption will be official in September, the couple said. 

Meanwhile, the new family has filled their home with love.

“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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