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Family adopts 5 siblings from foster care in time to share 1st Christmas together

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Posted at 8:35 AM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 10:35:07-05

Whitney and James Meserve didn’t expect an early Christmas gift this year.

But just eight days before the holiday, they completed their family by welcoming siblings who were in the foster care system.

"This was what we were supposed to do in life. We were supposed to take on kids and God really has blessed us with these kids," Whitney told "GMA."

The Meserves have fostered seven children for more than three years at their Reynolds Station, Kentucky, home: Norah, 12; Aubrey, 11; Sebastian, 11; Jayda, 10; Preslee, 9; Rylynne, 8; and Addison, 4.

On Dec. 17 at 8:30 a.m., James and Whitney officially adopted siblings Aubrey, Jayda, Preslee, Rylynne and Addison.

The couple had adopted sibling pair Norah and Sebastian in February.

"Now we get to begin the year with happiness and end the year with happiness," James said.

The whole family wore Christmas sweaters to the courthouse to mark the momentous occasion. And the children told "GMA" how excited they were to be finally be in one home and in a big family.

"[We feel] relieved because we know what’s going to happen in the future," Aubrey said.

"It feels great to know that we are in a stable home and we know everyone," Jayda added. "We know where we’re going to be at the next day -- not changing schools or places."

The recent Meserve adoption was a big celebration for the community. It was attended by hundreds of friends from the local community, and was livestreamed at the elementary school where Whitney works so students and teachers could witness the big moment.

"It takes a village," Whitney said.

Whitney said she can’t have biological children of her own. She and her best friend had talked about separately fostering children and she eventually took a seven-week course to become a foster parent. Over the next few years, she and her husband temporarily welcomed children into their home.

When it came to the five siblings the Meserves would eventually adopt, they said they were initially told that the children would be split up. But James and Whitney drove to the Department for Community Based Services office and picked up the kids in order to keep them together.

Everyone in the Meserve family was scared and nervous at first, but it's been a "unique transition" that eventually led to a happy ending.

"There are kids out there that need your help. And if you feel like you can be an ounce of support for them, be that support for them," Whitney said to those who are considering fostering or adopting.

The family said this is a Christmas they’ll never forget.

"Christmas miracles do happen. It's happened here; it will happen elsewhere," James said.

"It feels like the best gift ever," Jayda said.