Tyler Nichols of Mansfield, Texas knows what it’s like to be separated from your loved ones. His grandfather was just a little boy when his six siblings were ripped apart by the foster care system. Tyler’s grandfather grew up feeling an underlying sense of sadness, always curious as to the whereabouts of his brothers and sisters. Decades later, they found each other again.
When it came time for Tyler and his wife Beth to start planning a family, it made sense they were inspired to adopt a sibling group. “If we could keep a family together, that’s what we would really like to do.”
Tyler and Beth wanted to adopt a sibling group of no more than four children. That’s when they got a phone call about a sibling group of four in need of a family… along with their baby sister. While five kids was more than they bargained for, Tyler and Beth realized that by taking them all in, they’d fulfill their other dream of having a little girl.
They traveled to South America to adopt the five siblings — Yohan (9), Patty (8), Wilson (7), Oscar (6) and Heidy (4). The couple was thrust into unknown territory, literally. Not only did they have no parenting experience, but they were in an unfamiliar country where they had seven weeks to engage with and form a bond with the untrusting siblings. The close-knit band of brothers and sisters had to relearn what a parental figure was supposed to be.
What’s most surprising about their story is the fact the eldest sister, Patty, played the role of “mother” for their entire lives. She was only six years old by the time she’d lost her identity as a child and instead, molded herself into the maternal figure. She was stressed and anxiety-ridden all the while.
Watch the video below to find out what happened next, and how Tyler and Beth were able to turn five siblings into one loving family. Special thanks to the Nichols Family to allowing us to tell their story.
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Credit: Daniel Kelly / Twitter: @Danielkellyfilm / Music: Austin Kiefer @austinkieferyo
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