Families come in many sizes, which was an understatement for one bunch. With seven of them stuck on the other side of the globe, waiting to be taken home, it was a challenging journey to ensure they were all together once and for all.
All parents' lives are filled with the endless beautiful chaos of making sure they do all they can to look after their children physically and emotionally.
With 13 children, this mayhem is amplified for Michelle Torppey and her husband, Wade Torppey, residing in Delaware, U.S.A. However, the couple wouldn't have it any other way.
Twelve of the Torppey children. │Source: facebook.com/bliss.trunfio
The Torppey household is a rush from morning to night, with school, soccer practice, and making food fit for an army. Michelle said:
"Everybody comes flying in from soccer and starts taking turns in the shower and doing homework. Dinner is usually like 40 tacos...it'll be like 30 sliders or 30 hot dogs."
Luckily, the parents are not in it alone, with some of the older kids, including those who no longer live at home, chipping in to help the days run smoothly.
MORE THAN JUST A VISIT
Seven out of these 13 children were only added to the bunch in 2021. This all began when the parents decided to open their home to five orphaned children from Ukraine during Christmas of 2017, who stayed with them for the following holidays.
This was because of support from their local school, church community, and their own unconditional love.
The family finally visited the Eastern European orphanage. This orphanage is where the two little siblings of the five orphans, who couldn't join on the trips due to their age, resided. The Torppeys chose to adopt all seven.
NOT SO SIMPLE
Making these children legally their own was not easy because of bureaucracy and the pandemic. But, they eventually managed to do so in 2021. However, another obstacle lay ahead, Wade expressed:
"We knew it would be a challenge when we first met them...We could see some strong personalities and the kind of issues you would expect when children lose their parents."
Nevertheless, the assimilation of the children, now ranging from ages six to 18 years old, went more smoothly than anticipated. This was because of their local school, church community, and their own unconditional love.
Their church has significantly contributed, including giving the family gift cards for grocery payments and money for their children's education. Michelle said:
"We've been overwhelmed. It's a very humbling experience. We like to be the people who are donating. We're not used to being on the receiving end."
There has also been a fundraiser set up online to assist the Torppey family with all of their kids' tuition fees.
THE RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE
"They are an absolutely incredible family, and their story is just inspiring beyond anything I've heard in years."
Their choice to take in these kids is deeply connected to the Torppey couple's faith. Wade said they have a gift for good parenting and should use it as God intended.
Wade and his wife prove that having a large family is not only possible but also a loving adventure -- a journey that, of course, they are not the first to take.
Christina and Christopher Sanders are a black couple from Cincinnati with five biological children Christopher Jr., 19 years old; Cameron, 14 years old; Caden, 12 years old; Chad, ten years old; and Caitlyn, nine years old.
They chose to expand their home in 2014, fostering six caucasian children. In 2017, they eventually adopted these kids: Coby, 16 years old; Christian, 14 years old; Caleb, 13 years old; Caylee, 12, years old; Carson, ten years old; and Chloe, nine years old.
Although they get criticism, mainly online, for being a black family who chose to adopt white children, Christina and Christopher are confident they made the right move.
The Torppeys and Sanders show that the size, color, and biology of a family aren't what matter but rather the unconditional love between them.