A big-hearted mum has told how she doubled her family in one go when she adopted four siblings at once – creating a bumper family of TEN.
Tabitha, 38, and Andrew Goldsmith started fostering when they had three kids, looking after a little girl before she was able to return to her family.
They decided they wanted to help one more child following the birth of their fourth son Ezra – and took in little Kamberlynn, now aged four.
But later, three of Kamberlynn’s siblings needed support, so the loving couple welcomed them all into their home – eventually adopting all four in September this year.
The bumper family doubled their kid count overnight – and while having eight children under 13 isn’t easy, Tabitha wouldn’t change a thing.
The Goldsmith home is now packed to the rafters with birth sons Elijah, 12, Emery, 10, Easton, eight, and Ezra, five, and adopted children Kamberlynn, four, Travis, three, Violet, two, and Ethan, eight.
Mum-of-eight Tabitha, from Lowell, Michigan, USA, said: “I am so honoured to call them mine, and I am overwhelmed with joy to think that we are entrusted with such precious gifts.
“There is no greater job to me than parenting, and the beautiful chaos of our home makes my heart so happy.
“Doubling the size of our family wasn’t something that we ever set out to accomplish. I am just so grateful that we have.
“For people with one or two children it feels crazy. We even have the biggest family in our adoption and foster circles where most have up to five or six.
“I wanted to foster even before we had our own children, and when I set out to do something I see it through.
“But I didn’t have a picture of how things would be. I thought we’d just have one, and it grew and grew.
“You can’t go into fostering with a plan or expectations. Our adoptive children are all related, it feels important to me to keep them together and we have the means to do it.”
Tabitha and Andrew, 41, a mechanic, wanted to foster or adopt children after being inspired by a foster family they met in 2007 before they married.
She said: “These people were fostering before having their own biological children, and I had no idea there was a need like this.
“I had heard of starving children in other countries but I didn’t understand that there were children with no families right here.
“I went on this website featuring children looking for families, and I just remember being in tears reading a profile written by a little boy promising to be good and keep his room tidy.
“It broke my heart that any child should have to sell themselves.”
They had son Elijah in 2008, Emery in 2010 and Easton in 2012, and when he was one, they got their fostering licence.
A little girl – who was eventually able to return home – was placed with them and during her placement Tabitha found out she was pregnant with Ezra, born in 2014.
Tabitha was shocked when Andrew suggested reactivating their fostering license in 2017, and a month later Kamber, then one, came to their home.
A month later Kamber’s mum gave birth to her half brother Travis, who they also took in, followed by his sister Violet when she was born in December 2018.
They received a call asking if they could help Ethan, then seven, Kamber’s half brother on her dad’s side, in May 2019, and they adopted all four on September 9 2020.
Tabitha, a fitness coach, said: “We had such a big celebration, and we’ll always do something special on that day.”
The family’s adoption worker nominated them for a State of Michigan Exceptional Adoptive Families award in November, and they won.
As well as an overnight stay at a waterpark, they had a big family photo.
Tabitha said: “We were too big for the photo frame and our lovely big family is brimming out of the picture.”
Son Emery has Down’s syndrome, and Tabitha said having him gave her the flexible mind set necessary for fostering.
She added: “There are highs and lows – sometimes we have a great day and sometimes we just get through the day.
“We just work it out. It’s chaos, there’s always someone laughing, often someone crying, but there are beautiful moments that other, smaller, families don’t get.
“I just hope that my kids all grow up feeling loved and appreciated, and have the confidence to be the individuals they are.
The family live in a four bedroom house, with the kids in triple and double bunks.
She said: “We don’t plan to have any more children, but we haven’t shut our licence down. God will have to help with that.
“I can’t wait until our table is extended with friends, spouses, and one day, grandchildren.”