Georgia Family Adopts 7 Siblings and ‘Prays’ Their Baby Sister Still in Foster Care Can Join Them
After spending three years in foster care, seven Georgia foster siblings found their forever home together.
On May 9, Jessaka and Joshua Clark of Rincon, Georgia, adopted Maria, 14, Elizabet, 11, Guillermo, 10, Jason, 8, Kristina, 7, Katerin, 7, and James, 5.
The Clarks are also parents to their 3-year-old biological son, Noah.
“It was a surreal experience,” Jessaka, 25, tells PEOPLE. “We knew these were our kids when we first saw a photograph of them. We had prayed so much and for so long, God brought us the perfect situation, we really wanted to keep a sibling group together.
“God has moved mountains and there was no doubt in our mind they were ours from the moment we met them.
Joshua calls their bond “so strong.”
“These children do not have a mom or dad to rely on, so they rely on their siblings,” Joshua, 29, tells PEOPLE. “Many siblings get split up in foster care, so we wanted to keep them together because to take them away from each other is to take away their trust and it can create difficulties in the future.”
And while the siblings have transitioned seamlessly into their new life with the Clarks, a crucial family member is not with them.
Their baby sister remains in foster care, says Jessaka.
“We didn’t know anything about another siblings until Maria recently asked,” explains Jessaka. “ considered a separate case, but we do very much want to keep them all together if possible.
“We’ll do whatever it takes to bring her home.”
Jessaka and Joshua began considering adoption “years ago” after being told by doctors they couldn’t conceive on their own.
“It wasn’t difficult news for us, because we always said we wanted to adopt,” says Jessaka, who was in foster care growing up. “But seven months later, we were surprised because we got pregnant!”
The couple continued their search for children waiting for adoption — intent on finding siblings in foster care that they could keep together.
“There was a huge need, especially for larger sibling groups,” says Joshua. “They are normally split up and that’s detrimental — it was in our hearts to open our home to them.”
The Clarks met the “super seven” siblings around April 2016.
“The first time we met them in person, it was incredible they started calling us mom and dad immediately,” says Joshua. “They had been through two failed adoptions already — they were ready to be our children.”
Says Jessaka, “My husband wrote me a letter and said, ‘I know it’s difficult waiting but I know the kids are ours I have no doubt they will be in our home next year.’ ”
In August 2016, the tight-knit brothers and sisters moved into the Clarks’ three-bedroom home.
The kids, who all attend public school together, “immediately” fell in love with their new brother Noah.
“It’s one big happy family,” says Jessaka. “They absolutely love each other, it was seamless.”
It was only after the adoption was finalized on May 9, that Jessaka and Joshua found out about the eighth sibling, a baby girl, still in foster care.
“The said they couldn’t give us information because she’s considered a separate case,” explains Jessaka. “The kids just know she exists but they don’t know much more than that.
“So our new goal is to bring her into our family, that’s our hope.”
The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Jessaka says she is trying to reach the family fostering the eighth sibling.
“The only thing that would deter us from getting this baby girl, is if it seems like it would be more detrimental to pull her from that family,” says Jessaka. “If it’s not in the best interest of the child, we won’t do that. But we do want to open a line of communication with that family so they can grow up knowing each other.”
In the meantime, the Clarks are raising funds through a GoFundMe to expand their three-bedroom home, “a necessary first step” if they are to get approved for another adoption.
“We have seven kids who want their sister home and to grow up with her,” says Joshua. “At this point, we’re just going to let God determine what happens next and pray.”