BLOUNT COUNTY - For three decades, Kim Wheeler has treated her Kindergarteners like her family. She learned early, many of her children's problems at home came into the classroom.
Two years ago, Wheeler got a call from the Department of Children Services that one of her former students and his two siblings were being pulled out of an abusive situation.
When asked where they wanted to go, the children begged to be taken to the home of Mrs. Kim, as they called her.
Wheeler and her husband, Tim, eventually decided to foster Tristan, 10, Timmy, 8, and Bella, 6.
"It was a dream come true. She's the one I've always known," said Tristan, "The home we live in right now feels like a regular home that we should live in."
But that's only part of the story.
"We have one ginormous family," Bella said.
Kim and Tim Wheeler already had 8 children combined when they married: Delaney, 13, Emory, 16, Erin, 19, Kennedy, 19, Alex, 22, Taylor, 25, Caleb, 27, Lee Ann, 32.
About six years ago, the Wheelers adopted Joseph and Isaiah, both were in Kim's kindergarten class. Then a couple years after that, they adopted Anthony, also a student at Wheeler's school, when all of his other siblings were adopted without him.
Some might say the Wheelers couldn't possibly have room for the three foster children. But that's not how the Wheeler's think.
"We never said we couldn't do it. we had to make a way and we did," Tim Wheeler said, "We don't want to see any kid do without like that. Every kid deserves a forever home. God's blessed us that we can provide that."
"I think my father set the example. He was a small town doctor and he cared for everyone in town," Kim said, "They have impacted us more than we've impacted them. They make us want to do better in life."
Last month, Blount County Judge Tammy Harrington made the Wheeler's sixth adoption official.
14 kids in all.
"I'm glad to be in this family," said Tristan.
The Wheelers admit that sometimes it can be tough to have so many people in one home, but they agree, it's worth it to give children in need a forever home.
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