LIMA — Six siblings separated by foster care, three girls and three boys, were adopted Thursday by two separate families, possibly creating a much larger, blended family.
Sisters Isabella, 5, Aurora, 9, and Elissa, 11, were adopted by their foster parents of three years, Gabe and Amy Thornburg, joining their daughter Haley Thornburg who was adopted in 2017. Their brothers Timmy, 3, Tobias, 4, and Josiah, 8, were adopted by their foster parents Jeremy Kindle and Scott Steffes.
Both families live in Allen County, so the children will have their siblings close by which isn’t a common occurrence, said Cynthia Scanland, executive director of Allen County Children Services.
“To have the opportunity to place three siblings together, out of a sibling group of six who are being adopted by another family who keeps in contact, is beyond a blessing,” Amy Thornburg said.
Scanland said Children Services works to reunite children with their biological parents, but in this case that wasn’t possible, she said.
“There are different ways to adopt children now,” Amy Thornburg said. “A lot of people go out of the country, and that’s a popular thing now. I think God has called us to help the children in our own neighborhood. To be someone in our own backyard to reach out to the kids.”
Kindle said the process of adopting Timmy, Tobias and Josiah began about two and a half years ago. He and Steffes began fostering three years ago with the intent to adopt one day because they wanted children. The two have legal custody of three teenage boys, Antonio Thompson, 14, Zachary Nelms, 15, and Tyrese Booker, 17, though they have not officially adopted them because the boys are at the age where they wanted to keep their own last names, Kindle said.
“We’re very blessed,” he said. “We firmly believe that God put these kids in our home, and it’s an honor and a privilege to be able to adopt them today.”
Kindle said not only will he work to make certain his three new sons stay in contact with their sisters but he’s interested in perhaps creating one big blended family with the Thornburgs.
“Sometimes these kids come from pretty rough starts,” said Judge Glenn H. Derryberry of Allen County Probate and Juvenile Courts. “As juvenile judge I see some of those rough starts because we handle those dependency, neglect, abuse cases out in juvenile court. It’s a good feeling to see rough starts to turn out well for some of these kids.”
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362