Kids & Family

Former Foster Child Adopts Two Sets of Siblings

Her own background in the foster system inspired her to act.


Jessica Benzakein knows what it's like to not have a family.

She became a foster child at age 12 when her mother gave up her parental rights. Because she was considered “too old" to be adopted, Benzakein went into foster care where she stayed until she was 18 and left for college. She remembers staying on campus by herself one Christmas because she had nowhere else to go.

“You're expected to leave, but I didn't have anywhere to go," Benzakein told MSN. “So, I paid to stay in a room the size of a guest closet."

Last week, the mom of two adopted 6 boys after years of fostering children in her home. The four older boys, Will, 18, Carter, 14, Sidney, 13, and Markell “Buddy," 8, are siblings, and the two younger ones are blood related as well, Kendrich, 6, and Terrell “T.J.," 4.

Jessica Benzakein Facebook

The boys join Benzakein's biological children, Eli, 14 and Brenna, 9, who she shares with her ex-husband.

Benzakein knew it was important to keep the siblings together, as she was separated from her own brother by the foster system.

“In Wisconsin alone, we have over 7,000 foster kids," Benzakein said. “The number of sibling sets is crazy high, and they're often broken up."

Benzakein made her family official last Friday at Milwaukee County Children's Court, where Judge Mark Sanders approved her request for adoption.

"Good things don't always happen in court, so when they do, they absolutely must be acknowledged," Sanders said.

Jessica Benzakein Facebook

Once the proceeding was over, all eight of Benzakein's children were smiling ear-to-ear as they grouped together to bang the gavel.

The boys had been living with Benzakein since 2015, so the only thing that really changed for them was the law.

“We've been living like a family for a long time," Benzakein said. “But now, no one can tell us we're not."

Jessica Benzakein Facebook

Benzakein hopes that she will inspire others to consider fostering and adopting children – especially since the need is always there.

"Six kids got adopted today, but there are over 7,000 kids in foster care and that number fluctuates," she said. “It's always going up. It never goes down, so there's still plenty of other kids out there who need homes."

We bet she'll never spend another Christmas alone again.

Jessica Benzakein Facebook

Inspired by Benzakein's incredible act of kindness? You can find out more about fostering a child (or multiple children!) by checking out organizations like Bethany and The National Foster Parent Association . You can also do a google search to find a foster information session near you. Let's #StartSomethingGood together.

How can you start something good?
The Conversation
More stories you may love

Elder Care In Times Of Crisis, This Is How We Do It

This is how Julian Gray and his team of experts can guide you through the new challenges of elder care.

Meet The Dispatcher Who Saved Two Lives In An Hour!

We take folks like McKenzie Davis for granted. But wow! Are we glad they're there when we need them.

Teen Saves Family Of Four From Burning Car

The experience changed his life - now he wants to be a first responder!

Our Mission
Have you ever felt like there's just too much bad news? Ever felt like the world is hopeless, and you're helpless to do anything about it? We did too. That's why we created Sparkt™.
At Sparkt™, we tell powerful stories about great people making a difference in their communities, and we show you how you can make a difference too. Join us, and together, let's #StartSomethingGood!
Popular
Recent
Sparkt Newsletter
Get positive, uplifting stories in your inbox
Follow Us on Social Media
Download the Mobile App
Sparkt™ is a Rabble Holdings, Inc. Media Brand. © 2020 Rabble Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.