Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One Big Happy Family!

My niece, Jackie first became a foster parent back in 1997, when she and her first husband, took in a little girl named Krissy, who was 5 years old, and her half-brother Joey who was 7. Joey went to live with his biological father a little over a year later, but Krissy stayed with Jackie for another year, before going back to live with her maternal grandmother. Meanwhile, they took in little Alyshia, who was just a few months old when she came to live with them. Later on, a set of 3 siblings; Tiffany, Jannessa and Timmy all came to live with them too. Jackie and her husband adopted baby Alyshia, and the other 3 siblings continued to live with them as foster children for the time being.


Eventually, Jackie and her first husband divorced, and agreed to share joint custody of their daughter Alyshia. The three foster children stayed with Jackie, even through this difficult time.

Jackie soon met her current husband Jim, who was also divorced, with 2 children of his own named Austin and Colton. When they met, Jackie and Jim found out that they had something very special in common. They both loved children...especially those that were not easily placed into new families. For example, those with special needs, or those who happen to be a little older than most potential adoptive parents are looking for...or a set of three siblings, who want to stay together in the same family. They married in 2001 and adopted Tiffany, Jannessa and Timmy.

Through the years, Jackie and Jim have taken in over 100 children, some short term, others for longer, and then a couple of years ago, Jackie's very first foster child, Krissy came back into their lives. Krissy came back to live with them, along with her younger sister, Cassie, who was just 4 days old when Krissy first became a part of Jackie's life. The family has recently adopted both girls, making them a permanent part of their happy home. When Krissy was a little girl, Jackie had given her the nickname "Chrysanthemum." When she was adopted, Krissy decided to make it official, legally changing her name to "Krysanthemum", or Kryssy. They also changed Cassie's name to Lily at that time, after Jim's mother. Here are their two little "flowers":

(Kryssy) (Lily)

I also learned less than a year ago, that Kryssy and Lily's older brother Joey had been going to the same church as I was, for the past few years. I knew Joey from church, but did not recognize him as the little boy that used to live with my niece. So now, he is part of our large extended family too. Coincidentally, he is best friends with the son of one of my best friends. I did a post about some of the strange "coincidences" I've found among people from my church and me.

Jackie and Jim are pictured here in the back row between foster children, Tanya and Eric. Seated on the couch are: Timmy, Desirae, Alyshia, Tiffany, and Lily. Jannessa and Kryssy are in front.

The family currently consists of 10 children, aged 11-21. Jackie and Jim are in the process of adopting former foster daughter, Desirae. She is now 19 years old, and engaged to be married soon. Desirae would like to be an official part of the Feiler family by the time her dad, Jim walks her down the aisle in October of this year.

Jackie and Jim Feiler of Luxemburg with their children Austin, 14; Colton, 12; Desirae, 19; Kryssy, 16; Jannessa, 17; Alyshia, 11; Lily, 11; Tim, 16; and Eric, 14, on March, 17. (Jason Wachter, jwachter@stcloudtimes.com)

The St. Cloud Times featured an article on this amazing family in last Sunday's paper. Click Here to read it. One reason for the newspaper article, was that Jackie and Jim have been named the Special Needs Foster Care Providers of the Year by the Minnesota Social Service Association. They will receive this award today. Congratulations, Jackie and Jim! God bless you and yours.


Sarah said...

What an amazing story! z=That is love and dedication!

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