Family

Imagine Adopting Seven Siblings … They Did

Couple knew their love would lead them to expand their family — now they need a bigger house

One couple has opened its arms to seven children — and they’re not about to stop.

When Jessaka and Josh Clark of Rincon, Georgia, decided two years ago they wanted to adopt children, they quickly learned about the “Super 7,” a group of seven siblings who were all in foster care together.

The Clarks and their biological son immediately fell in love with these children. And as of a few days ago, the Clarks are officially a family of 10 living in a three-bedroom home. They adopted all seven of the siblings, who spent a total of 1,359 days in foster care.

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But the family’s story doesn’t end there. It’s really only beginning, actually. The seven siblings also have a baby sister in foster care — and the Clarks fully intend to adopt this little girl as well. But right now the Clarks are at maximum capacity in their current home and don’t have the space to take in more children.

A GoFundMe page with a goal of $10,000 has been created to help the Clarks pay off the debt they have — and move into a larger home and expand their family to 11.

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LifeZette reached out to mom Jessaka Clark on Thursday morning to learn more about their unique situation.

“My mind kept going back to a Facebook post I’d written that day with a picture of my children holding a sign with the number of days they had spent in foster care.”

Question: Did you have any hesitation at all about undertaking such a vast responsibility?
Answer: I know this sounds crazy — but no! We didn’t hesitate. In fact, we used to joke that we spent more time contemplating which car we were going to purchase and what we were going to do about a house than we did on deciding if we would take the children. We knew they were ours from the beginning. That’s not to say there weren’t difficult times, when I questioned what the heck I was getting myself into here. But after a brief crying session, God would remind me how much I love them — and how many mountains He moved to bring them to us.

Q: Tell us more about the role faith played in your decision to adopt.
A: We are motivated by the fact that 13,000 children are still in foster care. And there are 45 million children around the world who are fatherless. This past Tuesday, when we finally got to bed and my husband and I were talking, I just began to cry. Obviously it was an emotional day in general — but my mind kept going back to a Facebook post I had written that day with a picture of my children holding a sign with the number of days they had spent in foster care until yesterday on it.

I kept thinking: There are hundreds more children out there with larger numbers than that on their hearts. How can we just go to sleep when thousands of children are without families? Does that make sense?

We are Christians and we are very involved in our church, Compassion Christian Church. If it weren’t for our church family and our pastors, we wouldn’t have our children today, for so many reasons! God is the one and only reason that we have our children today. He called us to adopt years ago, and when we started the process in 2015 we didn’t make a single move without praying diligently to make sure it was a step in the direction of His will.

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We had countless times where we looked at these obstacles that kept coming up and questioned if this really was what He planned for us — or were we just following a selfish desire to grow our family? But then those mountains would melt, just like Scripture says in Psalms 97:5. Sometimes in the craziest of ways, we knew it only could come from God. I have countless situations that I can look back on now and say, “Wow! That was amazing how God worked that situation!”

Q: Tell us more about your housing details and the day-to-day challenges you face.
A: We are planning to stay near to where we are now in Rincon, Georgia. Our home is located central to everything we drive to on an almost daily basis. The therapist’s office, our church, the kids’ schools, our pharmacy, and most importantly, my best friend, Yavonna — she is the number-one support in our lives and the most amazing person I’ve been blessed to call my friend. She lives about a mile-and-a-half down the road. It sounds silly, but I told my husband that I need to stay close to her if I’m going to keep my sanity!

“We have a birthday about every two to three weeks in our family.”

She is the person I call when one kid is destroying his bedroom out of frustration, another one has flooded the bathroom floor from clogging the toilet, and my youngest son is screaming in pain from an injury to his foot. All I have to do is send a 911 text or call her, and she will be over in a few minutes!

We are minimalists, so we don’t need anything fancy or huge. I know we would like five bedrooms but we could make four work as well. We would like to have a good-sized playroom for the kids to have an escape, especially when we host Lifegroup for church once a week. Other than that, we have things we dream about but we also believe in getting out of debt as soon as possible, so we don’t want to make that impossible.

Q: You’re in “birthday season” right now, we understand! How is that going?
A: Our oldest child is 14, and the youngest is 3. Birthday season for us right now means that we have all 10 of our birthdays from the month of February to the month of July, so everyone is changing ages right now. We have a birthday about every two to three weeks in our family.

meet the author

Maureen Mackey served as editor-in-chief and managing editor of LifeZette for nearly five years. Before that, she held senior editorial positions at major publications, helping The Fiscal Times win a MIN Award for Best New Site as managing editor and Reader's Digest win an American Society of Magazine Editors Award for General Excellence as book editor. Her work has appeared in Real Clear Politics, CNBC, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, and The Week, among other outlets. She is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary.

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