Instagram | @second.chance.seven

Couple Adopts 7 Siblings After Parents Die In Car Crash: 'Our Second Chance 7'

In January 2019, Pam Willis came across a story on Facebook that immediately captured her heart and refused to let go.

As TODAY reported, she read about seven children who had recently been orphaned after losing their parents in a tragic car accident. As a result, all the siblings, who ranged in age from 1 to 12 at the time, were placed in foster care but were in need of a forever home where they could all be together.

After Pam, 50, read their story, there was no way she could simply keep scrolling and forget about the children.

“I can’t explain it," she said. "I just knew I was supposed to be their mom."

She tagged her husband Gary, 53, in the Facebook post so he could read it as well, but she wasn't sure they would get much further than that. The empty nesters had already raised five biological children of their own, and weren't exactly looking to do it all over again.

“I thought Gary was going to tell me I was wacko," Pam admitted. "We were getting ready to retire."

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But as it turns out, Gary would share his wife's feelings, and the couple immediately reached out to take the children in.

Although thousands of people had already called and were eager to welcome the siblings into their homes, it was ultimately Pam and Gary who were matched with Adelino, 15, Ruby, 13, Aleecia, 9, Anthony, 8, Aubriella, 7, Leo, 5, and Xander, 4 two months later.

"We knew deep inside that this mission was being placed before us," Pam wrote in an Instagram post from 2019. "If not us, then who?"

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Of course, the children had gone through something incredible traumatic, and it's taken time for those wounds to heal.

Their late parents had struggled with drug addiction, and also struggled to provide their family with proper food and housing. In fact, they had often ended up in homeless encampments. Even once they were placed with Pam and Gary, all of the kids struggled to sleep and dealt with frequent nightmares.

“It was easy to connect with the little ones," Pam told TODAY. "They were just desperately craving permanency."

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The older children were a bit tougher to connect and relate to.

“I think they didn’t quite trust that we were real," Pam explained. "Like maybe we were going to go away. I think it’s so hard to trust when so much has been taken from your life."

She also shared an experience in which one of the children came into her room one night from what she thought must have been a bad dream, only to have the youngster reply, "No, I just wanted to make sure you were still here."

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In August 2020, all seven children were formally adopted, and the Willis family was now complete.

Also in attendance at the virtual ceremony were Pam and Gary's five biological children, Matthew, 32, Andrew, 30, Alexa, 27, Sophia, 23, and Sam, 20.

“It was awesome,” Pam said. “We brought a big TV screen out to the park so everybody could watch and cheer and be safe during COVID. There was so much love.”

Although they couldn't physically be at the courthouse for the big day, she said the family made sure to take lots of pictures outside the building "because that's where we were SUPPOSED to be."

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Last year, Pam shared a video to Instagram captioned, "Our life in 15 seconds!"

The clip includes throwback nods to Pam and Gary's wedding ceremony in 1988, to raising their five children, all the way up to 2019 when the couple adopted the seven siblings.

"They've given us a second chance at parenting, we've given them a second Mom and Dad," the caption reads. "They are our Second Chance 7."

To keep up with the Willis family and all their members, make sure to check out their official Instagram page

h/t: TODAY

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