‘They were ours’

By Darby Jones April 7, 2021
Couple adopts seven siblings after their parents die in car crash

Pamela Willis was scrolling through her Facebook feed in 2019 when she stumbled upon a news story that tugged at her heart strings and forever changed her life. Seven siblings were in need of a permanent home.

“I really felt at that moment that those were supposed to be my children,” Pam told FOX. “It’s hard to explain, but I just have this really deep feeling like that.”

The siblings, ranging in age from 1 to 12, had been in foster care for over a year after losing their parents in a devastating car crash.

Pam, 50, and her husband, Gary Willis, 53, had fostered children for several years and have five adult biologial children of their own, but had never considered adoption.

Pam tagged her husband on Facebook so he would see the article.

“I thought Gary was going to tell me I was wacko – we were getting ready to retire,” Pam told TODAY.

Thankfully, Pam’s husband felt the same as she did once he saw the children. “It was what God wanted us to do,” Pam said.

Later that evening, the Willis’ called the number listed and were told they had already received thousands of calls.

Two months later, Pam and Gary were matched with Adelino, 15, Ruby, 13, Aleecia, 9, Anthony, 8, Aubriella, 7, Leo, 5, and Xander, 4.

The children had experienced past trauma, including homelessness and their late parents’ struggle with addiction.

Pam said that it was much easier to connect with the younger children than the older ones.

“I think they didn’t quite trust that we were real. Like maybe we were going to go away,” Pam said. “I think it’s so hard to trust when so much has been taken from your life. Ruby didn’t know how to be a kid. She had to be a mother figure at a very young age.”

While the adoption process was very long, they officially became a family in August 2020 and currently live in Menifee, California.

From the day we met them, they were ours,” Said Pam. “This was a forever commitment.”