Greenback, TN — Like a jigsaw puzzle, the Holmes family is made up of many pieces that all fit together to make one complete picture.
“We have what we call three batches of children,” Leslie Holmes joked. “We felt like we had room in our hearts and house for other children, and it was always a calling that God put on us.”
She and her husband, Phil, had three children of their own when they decided to adopt a pair of sisters from the foster care system. But, their story didn't end there.
“At that point, I thought we were through with five children, but I looked at Leslie and said, ‘I believe we’re going to do this again,’” Phil Holmes recalled as he sat next to his wife at their extended dining room table. “I was already in my early 50s and thought, ‘I’m too old. I can’t possibly do this again.’ And, God made it crystal clear to me that this is what he wanted for us.”
The Holmes family decided to adopt again. This time it was a group of four siblings.
“We were in foster care, so we lived in different homes. We were split up for about a month. That’s when my mom and dad now came into play,” recalled Lucas Holmes, who’s currently in high school with dreams of becoming a pastor like his dad.
“It definitely felt like home as soon as we walked in,” his older brother, Hunter, added.
“It’s crazy to think that I have a home to come back to. My friends at college are always like, ‘why do you want to go home so much?’ Well, it’s because I didn’t have that when I was younger,” their sister Hayley said.
Having a place to call home and people to call parents changed the course of their lives.
“I see a couple people here and there that went through the same foster care organization. I see that they didn't get adopted. They aged out of the system, so they’re just kind of getting by. They didn't get the proper guidance that comes from a permanent family,” said the oldest sibling, Jon, who recently got married.
“Just because something is difficult, it doesn't mean it isn’t valuable and worth going through the process,” Leslie Holmes said. “People are worth it.”
The Holmes family adopted their children from Childhelp Children’s Center of East Tennessee.