In their short life until late 2018, these seven siblings had lived more than many adults live in their whole life.
And this is not something they are happy about.
These seven children, whose ages today range from 12 to 19 years old, used to live with their biological parents roughly until almost 2016.
They had never felt safe in their home, they had never enjoyed happy family moments, and they definitely weren’t used to a normal routine like every child should have.
As they shared themselves in an interview with THV11, they never took for granted that they’d make it to school on an given day.
They were not sure if a plate would come their way during the day, and, certainly, hardly ever did that plate come with no bugs in it.
So, for more than 2 years the seven siblings were in foster care.
Although they had been removed from the unsafe environment their biological parents were providing, they still felt insecure.
They just didn’t know what was coming next.
They knew they needed a permanent home, but they doubted they would ever be so lucky as to have one.
And, most importantly, it was crucial that they stayed together.
Luckily, thanks to an amazing couple with lots of love in their hearts, these children found a new place to call home and their forever family, a few years ago.
Michael Hawthorn and his wife Terri live in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
They are around 50 and they already have four grown-up children.
And, while retirement had sounded like a good idea until then, when they realized those children desperately needed a permanent home, they knew it was their call to step in and provide it for them.
The road to adopting the seven siblings was not easy.
“When the state didn’t want to let us get these kids, [Arkansas State Sen. Alan Clark] believed that we could take on this huge responsibility and pushed for us to get them,” Michael Hawthorn shared in a Facebook post at the time.
But when everyone realized how much these two could give to these children in terms of emotional support and in terms of a safe and loving home where they can thrive, they let them adopt all of them.
In early December 2018, the children officially became part of the Hawthorn family and they wouldn’t change it for the world.
Their foster siblings also loved them already. In fact, the couple’s daughter decided to put her dreams of becoming an actress aside for a while and help raise the children.
“For me, it was the obvious choice,” Micah Hawthorn told GMA. “We were putting up the Christmas tree and they are so excited about every little thing; things I took for granted growing up. They’ve never had wrapped Christmas presents. It really opened my eyes.”