A Forest Park, Ohio, courtroom was crowded as foster parents Christopher and Christina Sanders prepared to make their family of seven a family of 13.
“I’ve been here for over two years,” Hamilton County Adoption Court Judge Ralph Winkler tells 9 On Your Side Tuesday, April 25. “And it’s the first time I’ve had six children being adopted by one family, so I know it’s that unique.
The Sanderses, who are Black, have five biological children and when they decided to take in foster kids, they made a pact.
“We just made an agreement [that] whoever we get, we’ll keep them,” Christina says, holding back tears when talking about her white foster children. “Not, you know, send them to different houses.”
“We were having a rough life before,” 13-year-old Caleb says to the judge, before agreeing he now feels like he’s somewhere safe.
Caleb and his biological siblings each have new names: Coby, 16, Christian, 14, Caylee 12, Carson, 10 and Chloe, 9.
Chloe and her new sister, Caitlin, wore the same outfit and gushed about the joys of having each other as siblings.
“She’s the sweetest sister ever and I love her so much,” Caitlin said of Chloe.
“They’ve had a definite impact on me, too,” Christopher said, with Christina adding, “I always tell them to pat themselves on the back because they did it.”
The family’s racial differences don’t faze them, according to the now father of 11.
“We’re all the same in God’s eyes, so the color of anyone’s skin has never had a bearing on any of this,” Christopher says.
The family told the news station they get a lot of help from family, friends and members of their church and are now looking for a 15-passenger van to shuttle around the kids. They have raised $50,000 on GoFundMe to make the purchase.