LOUDON, Tenn. — Ten years ago Kristie O'Leary's family grew by two.
"We adopted our first set of siblings in 2010," she said.
Two years later it would grow again, this time making her family complete.
"We adopted our second set in 2012," O'Leary said.
Today, she has seven and just as quick as they were brought together they became close.
"It was very quickly within 15 months," she said.
But their togetherness wouldn't come without some difficulty. Starting at a young age, they would experience some pretty hurtful stuff.
"Our youngest, someone tried to wipe the color off of his skin one time and he was so little he had no idea, his siblings knew but he didn't, he probably doesn't even remember," O'Leary said.
The older they got the more it would happen.
"Our little girl, she's 12, last year she was asked why her skin was so dark," O'Leary said. "Her little friend said well you just look so burnt."
O'Leary added these are the kinds of comments that have left a mark on the family as a whole, which led her to write up a post on Facebook expressing her frustrations but also challenging people to do and be better.
"I think most of our world thinks that racism doesn't exist anymore," she said. "People say well things like that don't happen anymore, but they happen just in a different way."
For that reason she wants other parents to hear their story in hopes that maybe more kids won't have to feel the way hers have.
"As parents it is our job to raise the next generation and it is our job to raise people that love each other," she said.
While it can be a difficult job, O'Leary wants people to stand up when it is time.
"It is uncomfortable but just do it anyway," she said.
Because sometimes just being willing to stand up can make all of the difference.
"You never know what your simple action of standing up for someone can do for someone else," she said.