Inside a home in Marysville the most amazing thing has happened.
It all started with Rene and Jeramy.
They had a daughter named Alisa, who now lives in Texas.
Their second child was John, but there was room for more.
So along came Ewan, boosting the total to three kids. Life was full, but not full enough.
They adopted Vince, who was in foster care.
"A lot of the children in foster care are siblings,” Rene said.
“And they need to stay together,” Jeramy added.
Vince had a brother named Julian. They adopted him, too.
"Just before we were finishing the adoption for Vince and Julian, the social worker told us the birth mom was pregnant again,” Jeramy said.
But that would come later. First, they decided to adopt little Katy.
"Katy's a little miracle girl. She had a lot of health issues when she was born,” Jeramy said.
Then they couldn't say no to Vince and Julian’s little brother Josh, so he climbed aboard.
"I had secretly been praying for another little girl and then we got a call about another baby girl about four months later."
And here came sweet little Adeline to make a total of five.
To watch all of them playing outside in the backyard is to see an American household up close, kids being kids. Kids who finally know what it feels like to have a place, a home.
Dinner time is everything you could imagine.
From the burping and the belching and kids being goofy.
Jeramy is a Marysville police officer, and every night his sendoff to work is an event.
"Love you bud... love you Joshybye Katy bug,” he said.
There is something else you should know about Jeramy and Rene's children. Each of them have challenges. The kind of challenges that keep parents awake at night.
"The big ones have autism, intellectual disability, ADHD, anxiety, reactive attachment disorder, um, the list just goes on,” Renae said. “We have feeding issues, kids who are not potty trained... um, we go to counseling five days a week with our kids, or have people in our home to work with them."
And so, while dad is out working, patrolling the streets, mom is tending to the medicine.
She counts pills with the boys ‘one, two, three, four.’
And then there’s story time.
Rene says, "They heard a voice say, 'here kitty, kitty!" Kids join in, "Here kitty, kitty!"
Which occasionally goes sideways...
"Most people our age have moved on to traveling or buying boats or whatever, but this is exactly where we want to be,” Rene said.
“Yeah, it's a little bit of a sacrifice for us, but we've gained so much more out of this process than we've ever given up,” Jeramy said.
And the kids definitely feel loved.
"Yeah, they're spoiled!" Rene laughs.
Jeramy and Renae have taken parts and pieces left over – the ones without homes, without love – and they've patched them together and created a beautiful quilt.
"Is there going to be more (kids)?" son John asks.
"Yeah mom, is there any more?" another adds.
"Only god knows. We would be open to one more,” Rene said.
What they've created, in all of its glory and imperfection, is a family.