Foster parents decide to adopt 4 sisters

Foster parents decide to adopt 4 sisters

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MADISON COUNTY, Va. (WCAV) -- A couple in Madison County, Virginia has been fostering children for 15 years, providing a safe, loving environment for those in need.

And now, those foster parents, with three biological children of their own, are giving four sisters a permanent place to call home this Christmas, making the decision to legally adopt all of them.

Janice and Harris Gardner have been fostering the four sisters for about two years. Growing up, 11-year-old Jade, 12-year-old Ashley, 14-year-old Michelle and 17-year-old Zeyna, had nothing but each other.

"Zeyna took care of us when my mom wasn't there and my dad wasn't there," said Ashely. "I was really young. Michelle helped us with our homework, and Jade always played with me when I was like sad."

The girls entered foster care at a young age after being abused by their father, who is now behind bars.

In the summer of 2014, the two youngest were placed under the Gardner's care.

"They wanted us to take two of them and I just said, 'No, no, no. You have to give us all four,'" said Janice. "We can't let them be separated."

But they were separated. The two oldest girls were living with another foster family, and Janice says that didn't go well at all.

"They would just cry when they had to leave," said Janice.

Six months later, and the girls were all reunited under one roof: the Gardner household. Janice said she and the girls would stay up for hours talking because they would get nightmares about what they've been through.

"It gets loud sometimes. They laugh, holler and scream and that's fine and dandy," said Harris. "I'd rather see them laughing and screaming and having a good time than crying."

"It makes me feel happy every single day of my life," said Jade.

Now in 2016, the girls have been together for roughly two years with the Gardner family and are legally up for adoption.

"We love them too much to let them go, just to strangers," said Janice.

Fearing the girls would be separated again, Janice and Harris made the decision to adopt all four girls.

"They are a blessing to us and just as sweet as can be," said Harris. "We love them very much."

Jade says she knows that adoption means having a better family and that she won't have to worry anymore. The girls needed Janice just as much as she needed them, and Janice said support from the girls helped her beat breast cancer for the second time.

These girls are on the road to adoption, sharing an unbreakable bond.

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