PARENTING
08/26/2015 01:21 pm ET Updated Aug 26, 2015
PRESENTED BY AOL BEON & STATE FARM®

Couple Expands Family With Special Needs Adoption

Adam Owens and Karen Owens always wanted children, but they never thought they’d have a big family. However, after the tragic loss of their son, Gavin, their outlook changed dramatically.

The Pennsylvania couple had their first child, a daughter named Madison, in 2005. Then they conceived Gavin, who was born 10 weeks premature. “Once he came home, we realized that something was really not right,” Karen said. “When he was a year old, he was in multi-organ failure. We finally got our diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, and by that time he was really so far gone that there wasn’t much they could do for him. He passed away in November of 2009. He was about three and a half years old.”

“We kind of walked out of the hospital knowing that this wasn’t the end of our story,” Adam added. The couple began looking into child adoption within the community foster care system. Then they saw a young girl with special needs and, as Karen said, “it just clicked.”

Their first adoption was just the beginning. When the Owenses saw other children in nursing homes with no hope of finding families, they felt compelled to help. “We couldn’t just close our eyes,” Karen said. “We just needed to do something. So, basically, we are the parents of six children: Madison, Siah, Angela, Jayden, Harper and our son, Gavin.”

The Owens family may appear different, but Adam maintains they’re just like any other family. Karen adds that it’s okay to be uncomfortable in life, and sometimes the best moments come out of the darkest days. “Just because you walk through really dark times, it doesn’t mean that it’s over. It can be another chapter in your story."

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