Love and time conquer all
When Sabrina Rodgers learned that she would have difficulty conceiving, she lovingly decorated a room for a little girl. Sabrina and her husband Andrew deeply believed that they could still become parents. They turned to adoption.
The idea of adoption wasn’t new for the Rodgers. As newlyweds, the couple had talked about having a family of six, with three adoptive children. Their dream of a big family became a reality within just five years, as Sabrina and Andrew adopted six children, including two sibling groups, through the foster care system.
Building a family in five years
After becoming foster parents, Sabrina and Andrew welcomed a six-month-old baby girl into their home. They were able to adopt Nevaeha T’nes (a heaven-sent, spelled backwards) the following year, in 2012.
The couple wanted Nevaeha to have brothers and sisters and were very open to adopting siblings. “I could not imagine being raised without my brothers,” Sabrina says. “Being apart from your siblings would be like missing pieces of a puzzle.”
Brothers Landen and Dillen were five and four when they arrived at the Rodgers’ home. The boys had been through some previous attempted adoptions. “That’s because they were waiting for us,” Andrew says.
During a year-long adoption process, Andrew and Sabrina became advocates for the boys, helping them adjust to school and making the case for adoption, rather than a return to a children’s home. There were behavior challenges, but in Andrew’s words, “Love and time outweighed everything.”
The following year, the couple learned about the opportunity to adopt another group of siblings—two sisters and a brother. In the spring of 2014, the Rodgers finalized the adoption of Ka-liyah, Andrew (Drew) and Indyia.
Today, the kids are thriving. Ka-liyah, 15, is a straight-A student and band member, and wants to be a doctor when she grows up. Drew, 14, is a strong student with an outgoing personality who aspires to be a vet. After struggling with reading when he began school, ten-year-old Landen reads several years above grade level and “puts his brothers and sisters to the test at report card time,” Andrew says.
Dillen, age 9, is a straight-A student and plays football. Gentle six-year-old Indiyah enjoys playing dress up and house with her dolls, and four-year-old Nevaeha is “Miss Diva;” she loves to perform for her family.
Although life with six kids is very busy, the Rodgers make a point of slowing down for family time and praying together each night. They look forward to family nights—with movies, popcorn, and fun challenges—like the older kids’ recent “hot wings” challenge, to see who could eat a spicy chicken wing the fastest. Andrew and Sabrina take time for date nights, thanks to babysitting from the grandparents. An adoptive family group at church is also a source of support.
Although the past few years may have felt like a whirlwind, Andrew and Sabrina have grown as people and parents. What is their advice for others considering adoption?
Sabrina: “There are beautiful children out there who want to be loved and have a place to call home.”
Andrew: “Be brave, and keep your mind and heart open!”
For this family, the experiences of the last five years add up to one thing: “We were meant to be together.”