HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – A Hutchinson couple will adopt their five foster children on Saturday.
“It’s kind of a new chapter for the family,” said dad Jeremy Vanwey.
Vanwey, a Reno County Sheriff’s deputy, and his wife, Maria DeAngelis, who works in social work, became foster parents in March of 2017.
“We knew of the need for foster care,” said DeAngelis. “We didn’t really know how things would play out. ‘Would we have biological children first?’ But it morphed into, well, let’s just say yes now.”
On September 22, 2017, four siblings, all under the age of 4 years old, were placed with Vanwey and DeAngelis. Two months later, a fifth sibling was born. Vanwey and DeAngelis took her in at just a few days old.
“Looking back, I am like, ‘how did we do it?’ But it was really quite seamless. Our main priority was stabilization and by that I mean, you know, getting the children to be self- sufficient, getting to learn them and staying to a pretty strict schedule,” DeAngelis said.
The bond between the foster parents and their new children Felipe, now 6, Angeli, 5, Luis, 4, Leyda, 3, and Dyanna, 1, grew each day they spent together.
“They are everything,” Vanwey said.
“They are the center of our lives,” DeAngelis said. “I love them. I love them to bits and pieces.”
While the couple admits, many people told them they were nuts for taking in so many young children at one time, they would gladly do it again.
“People did call us crazy, but I am just like, ‘why would you say no,’” DeAngelis explained. “It is such a beautiful experience that if you are willing to sacrifice just a little bit, your eyes will change dramatically about the world and about families and about how important connections are.”
“It is at times hard, but every minute of it is worth it. It means so much to these kids. It’s harder for the children than it is for us. The children have been through so much. I feel like it’s kind of our duty to take care of these kids as best as we can,” Vanwey said.
The couple will adopt the five siblings on Saturday during a Saint Francis Adoption Day event in Wichita. They said the moment will be bittersweet.
“They are meant to be here. They are meant to be a part of our family,” DeAngelis said.
November is National Adoption Month. Saint Francis Ministries said it anticipated more than 75 adoptions to take place at three events during November.