People often say that when you stop looking for something, it will find you. Regardless, that may be difficult advice to hear when that “something” you want is a child. For one family, for example, it was years before they had three beautiful adopted babies and felt that their family was finally complete. Then, however, something else amazing happened…
Sarah and Andy Justice wanted nothing more than a family of their own. Unfortunately, however, the couple from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who’d been married for over three years, had no luck conceiving. But since they were still eager to have children, they decided to seek the advice of a fertility expert.
However, the specialist told the couple that even IVF treatment would only give them a 10 percent shot at getting pregnant. What’s more, the process wouldn’t be cheap. Faced with the prospect of spending between $30,000 and $60,000 on fertilization efforts that might not even work, then, the Justices gave up on the idea of having biological babies.
Instead, they decided to look into adoption. However, that too comes with hurdles. Since the Justices were interested in newborns, for example, birth mothers would have to interview them and determine whether the couple were suitable as parents.
And as it happened, on at least two occasions mothers-to-be accepted the Justices as adoptive parents and then changed their minds. “It was very hard to get our hopes up like that and then be disappointed and have to start all over,” Sarah admitted to local newspaper Tulsa World in 2014.
Finally, though, a mother accepted them as parents – and everything seemed to click into place. Sarah even went with the birth mom to an ultrasound scan. And that’s when they both had quite a surprise.
Specifically, the doctor explained that the birth mother was pregnant with triplets. This meant that the Justices were about to become parents of three as long as neither party backed out of the adoption. And, unfazed by this prospect, the Justices agreed to take on the trio of children at the birth mom’s request.
In fact, the situation suited the couple perfectly. Indeed, they had always thought that they’d like more than one child. But the adoption process was so emotionally draining for just one newborn that they knew this mom would be it for them. “This is great. It’s everything we wanted,” Sarah thought at the time, according to Tulsa World.
So in May 2013 the Justices finally got to meet their babies. Hannah, Joel and Elizabeth were born eight weeks early, and each weighed a tiny three pounds. Of course, at that size the triplets were kept under neonatal intensive care for some time in order to help with their development.
However, nothing could have prepared the brand new parents for what happened next. Just one week after the babies’ birth, Sarah had to attend a doctor’s appointment herself. It was then that she found out she had conceived naturally and was pregnant. Not only that, but she and Andy would be expecting twins! Soon, then, they would be looking after five babies – all less than a year old.
And although to some couples this stroke of fate may have seemed like bad timing, the Justices saw the funny side. “God has a great sense of humor,” they joked to Oklahoma’s News on 6 in August 2013. “It was more than a little ironic,” dad Andy added to Today in March of the following year.
“I was shocked and a bit overwhelmed because I got to thinking, added it up and I’m like, wow, if they go to term we’re about five babies in eight months,” Sarah added to Today. “But we were really excited because it was something we’ve been dreaming of and longing for for years.”
At the end of 2013, then, the Justices welcomed their twins, Andrew and Abigail. And, although their birth marked another big adjustment for the parents, the family soon began to get to grips with their new life. Luckily for them, though, they also had support from their tight-knit community.
Indeed, friends and neighbors arranged a rota system to help Sarah when Andy was at work. On top of this, attendees of Tulsa’s Eastland Baptist Church began to send over food for the family of seven. However, despite all this help, Andy joked to Tulsa World, “We don’t sleep much, obviously. We don’t sit down much either.”
What’s more, the supplies needed to keep the babies healthy and well were legion: for example, the gang of infants would go through 300 diapers and 84 bottles every week. On top of this, Sarah and Andy had to come up with a system to even tell the kids apart. For their older daughters, Hannah and Elizabeth, the parents used different colored toenail polish.
And, naturally, having so many babies made getting from one place to another akin to a military operation. In the Today interview, moreover, Andy revealed that he was now in the market for a bigger van. “I had no idea just how difficult it would be to go anywhere,” he admitted.
However, despite the demands of being parents to five tots, Sarah confirmed to the NBC show that the couple wouldn’t have it any other way. “My husband says all we do is babies, everything else in life has pretty much stopped,” she said. “But it was something we’ve wanted so badly that we love it. It’s not to say it’s not a lot of work and we’re not tired a lot, but it’s great. We just really love having these children.”
Not surprisingly, the Justices’ story quickly went viral. But the couple take the publicity with good humor. “We’re not the only family with multiple sets of multiples,” Sarah told Tulsa World in its 2015 update on the family. “I don’t know if we’re interesting,” she added. “We’re busy, I can tell you that.”
Now, more than three years after them becoming parents, Facebook images show Sarah and Andy looking happier than ever. In photo after photo, they proudly show off their happy and healthy family, which got even bigger in January 2016 when they welcomed their sixth child.
And, of course, the Justices’ story goes to show that you never know what to expect from wishes. Moreover, thanks to a welcome surprise during the adoption process and then unexpected natural conception, Sarah and Andy are busy parents indeed. For them, it seems as if six was the magic number.