(WBIR) This weekend is a family's first together in East Tennessee. An Oliver Springs couple just gained custody of four children, all at once.
Sheri and Bobby Hartzog are now going through the adoption process.
"Two weeks ago, two weeks ago today. Opened up Facebook and saw my pastor wrote a blog post saying, 'Can you help these children?'" she recalled.
After seeing the post from her pastor at OneLife Church in Powell, Sheri spoke to her husband. Since the couple married in 2011, they have wanted to adopt.
Both agreed to pursue custody of Courtney, 12, Alonzo "Sonny," 10, Vinton "Bubba," 7, and Bradon, 5.
The siblings come from a Native American tribe in the Midwest. They have asked us for privacy reasons not to release their tribe name.
They lost their parents; their grandmother has dementia.
"She ran out of the house and hugged me," Sheri said, describing the first time she met Courtney.
She went on to say, "She was actually the first person to call me mom. And I said, 'You know, I don't want to take away your mom so if you want to call me Ms. Sheri, if you want to give me a special nickname, that's totally fine.' And she's like, 'Well I'd much rather call you mom. Is that okay?' And of course I was like... 'Absolutely.'"
In total, it took the Hartzogs 10 days to gain custody of the kids.
Sheri is getting used to quadrupling her recipes, new rooms with bunk-beds, and more traffic in the house.
"It was natural. It just felt like, these were my kids. Not like we were bringing some strange kids into our home. It felt like these were our children," Bobby said.
After asking Sonny how he liked his new home he said, "It's good."
"I love it. This is something I've wanted my whole life and so it's been very humbling," Sheri said.
The kids moved to East Tennessee with only one carry-on bag each.
OneLife Church asks those who would like to donate things, like clothes, to bring them to their church. The kids are registered at Target.
Their sizes are:
- Boys (Ages 5, 7, & 10): Pants sizes 8-12. Shirts 10 to adult small. Shoes 3, 4 and 5.
- Girl (12 years old): 8 junior pants/bottoms, L/XL junior tops. Shoe 9/10.