Like most newlyweds, Andy and Sarah Justice were quite happy together. They had fallen in love, gotten married and were living their dream of staying together for the rest of their lives. Still, they could not deny the fact that they both wanted to start a family one day. They wanted to become parents, expand their family and raise children together.
Once Andy and Sarah had been married for a little while, they made the decision to try for a baby. However, they would go on to attempt to get pregnant for three long years without getting the results they were hoping for. They were still very much in love, but were frustrated with the situation and decided that it would be smart to consult with a fertility doctor.
When it came to visiting with a fertility specialist, Andy and Sarah didn’t want to take any chances. They did some research and decided that they wanted to consult with a specialist in St. Louis. Unfortunately, they lived all the way in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Still, they were so dedicated to their pursuit of having children that the distance was not an issue for them.
Getting Some Answers
As Andy and Sarah Justice embarked upon their six-hour drive to the fertility specialist, they were hopeful that the doctor would be able to give them a little hope and some good news. Unfortunately, that was not the case. During the visit, the doctors ran tests and determined that there was no real chance that Sarah could get pregnant.
Exploring Other Options
While consulting with the fertility specialist, the Justices decided to ask about other options, such as in vitro fertilization. The specialist informed the couple that they could potentially do in vitro fertilization, but the process would be invasive, expensive, and still only provide a 10% chance of an actual pregnancy. The Justices were stumped and decided to look into yet another option.
Even if Andy and Sarah Justice wanted to pursue in vitro fertilization, it was very cost prohibitive. In fact, in addition to the cost of up to $15,000 for a general in vitro fertilization cycle, total costs would rack up to as much as $60,000. To top it all off, most insurance policies do not cover the procedure. This led the Justices to start considering adoption instead.
Not Giving Up
Andy and Sarah were not about to give up on their dream of becoming parents simply because they wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally and couldn’t afford in vitro fertilization. Instead, they looked into adoption. They quickly found out that the process would be a hassle, as they’d have to not only complete an initial application, but also have a home study conducted.
Knocking Down Barriers
Andy and Sarah Justice decided that instead of focusing on all the obstacles in front of them, they’d simply hurdle them one by one. They were determined to go through the often-lengthy adoption process, no matter what it would take. They wanted to expand their family and become parents, and they decided to keep their eyes on that goal and keep moving forward.
Jumping Through Hoops
Unfortunately for Andy and Sarah, it seemed like every time they jumped through one hoop, there was another one they had to go through afterward. Once they had applied and completed the home study successfully, they had to go through a number of interviews. These interviews were conducted with mothers who were planning to give their children up for adoption. The exhaustive process was still far from over.
After numerous interviews, Andy and Sarah received notification of some positive news: one of the mothers-to-be had selected them to take custody of her baby. The Justices were extremely excited and put all of their efforts into providing the birth mother with all of the support that she needed. Unfortunately, there would be yet another twist in this long saga.
Change Of Heart
Adoptive parents have one big fear in these situations: that the birth mother will have a last-minute change of heart, as it is their right to. Unfortunately, that’s what happened to the Justices, and the couple was devastated by the setback, especially since they knew that they would have to go back to doing interviews yet again.
After the heartbreaking setback, Andy and Sarah immediately contacted the adoption agency and let them know that they were still very much interested in adopting a baby. They got back into the interview process and found another willing birth mother. They again got their hopes up and supported the mother until the birth, only to again find out that the mother changed her mind and would be keeping the baby.
After not one, but two setbacks after lengthy adoption procedures and months of anticipation, it would be hard to blame Andy and Sarah for just giving up. But that’s not what happened. They were still very much determined to make adoption work for them. After the second mother backed out, their resolve was truly tested. However, they would soon get an unexpected call.
Give It Another Try
Andy and Sarah were dreading the idea of going through the interview process again only to have another heart-breaking setback, but they got good news when the agency said that a woman had already chosen them to be her baby’s adopted parents. When they met with the pregnant woman, they immediately felt better about the entire situation than they previously had.
This birth mother was much more open and comfortable with Andy and Sarah than the previous two had been. In fact, she even invited the couple to her ultrasound, where they got some really surprising news. When the doctor looked at the scan, she saw not just one healthy baby, but three! Andy and Sarah were absolutely shocked at the surprising revelation.
Party Of Five?
Something about seeing those three babies on the scan really cemented the Justices’ resolve. Although a family of five would be quite an undertaking, Andy and Sarah later said that they had no doubt that when they saw the ultrasound, they were meant to raise those babies as their own. They moved forward with the adoption process, unfearful despite their previous disappointments.
After their initial euphoria, Andy and Sarah did naturally have some doubts. Although they always planned on having a big family, having three babies at once would be quite a test for first-time parents. However, they ultimately saw the situation as a blessing and a good challenge, not an obstacle to be overcome. They were happy that they could have three healthy babies without having to go through multiple adoptions.
Preparing For Babies
Right away, Andy and Sarah started to prepare for the incoming triplets. There was a lot to be done! From baby-proofing their house to buying loads of diapers, three cribs, strollers, and other items, they feverishly worked to get everything ready. It was a lot of work, but they were more excited than anything. They would soon have the family they always wanted!
The Big Day Arrives
When the big day finally arrived in May of 2013, Andy and Sarah could not wait. They paced back and forth as the birth mother went into labor eight weeks earlier than planned. After a long, difficult labor, three babies were born. As they were born premature, they were just three pounds each. They were named Hannah, Joel, and Elizabeth.
A Rocky Start
Obviously, Andy and Sarah were extremely pleased that they had three new babies and that the birth mother kept her word and would let them adopt the trio. However, they weren’t able to take their new babies home right away as planned. Since they were born eight weeks premature, they had to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit for a while. Eventually, they grew stronger, and it was time for them to go to their new home.
Andy and Sarah were extremely excited about their new babies and large family, but Sarah started to feel ill just a week after the babies were born. Sarah was initially concerned that the stressful adoption process had worn on her and affected her health. She always was worried about getting her new babies sick. When she went to the doctor, she soon found out why she had felt ill.
Sarah got some extremely surprising news during her doctor’s visit. The doctor knew she didn’t have a viral infection, so he ran some tests and found out that shockingly, Sarah had become pregnant! To say that Sarah was amazed and taken aback is an understatement. How had she suddenly gotten pregnant after years with no progress, and just after adopting triplets?
But Wait, There’s More!
If Sarah thought that the shocking news was over with for the time being, she was quite wrong. Further tests and an ultrasound revealed that Sarah wasn’t just pregnant with one baby…she was pregnant with twins! That meant that the couple was about to go from zero kids to five very quickly. Rather than being intimidated by this prospect, Andy and Sarah were overjoyed.
Love And Laughter
Not only were Andy and Sarah taking the unexpected pregnancy in stride, but they actually saw the humor in the situation. Imagine adopting triplets thinking that you could never have babies of your own, then finding out that you’re pregnant with twins! Andy and Sarah took the surprise pregnancy as a blessing and focused on raising their triplets.
Life’s Gonna Change
As the months passed, Andy and Sarah slowly adjusted to the challenges and joys of life with triplets. Just as they seemed that they were used to that lifestyle, of course, Sarah went into labor. The twins came and they named them Andrew and Abigail. Now, the lovebirds had five babies to take care of, which would prove to be quite a challenge!
It Takes A Village
When you have five babies at once, you will need a little help from time to time. The Justices were definitely no exception, and they leaned on the members of Eastland Baptist Church in Tulsa for help. Their fellow church members helped with food, cooked meals, and provided baby formula and other necessities as a way of helping the Justices out.
Charity Goes Viral
Word got out about Andy and Sarah Justice’s amazing story, and that only made even more donations pour in. From diapers and bottles to blankets and clothes, they got so much help that they were overwhelmed. Meanwhile, friends offered to help watch the babies when needed. At the time, the Justices were using 300 diapers and 84 bottle feedings per week.
If you asked new parents what they would expect when having five babies born very close in age, they would already guess that feeding time, changing diapers, and other routines would be very challenging. However, other challenges presented themselves too, as the family had to get a huge van to transport everyone. Also, they had to paint the babies’ toenails in specific colors to quickly remember who was who.
An Amazing Story
With the internet and social media, it doesn’t take much for a remarkable story like that of the Justices to go viral, and that’s exactly what happened. The couple started getting all kinds of new followers on social media and even getting interview requests for television programs. However, the surprises were not done arriving just yet, as they’d soon find out.
One More Time
Just when the Justices thought they’d already had enough surprises for an entire lifetime, one more took place. Sarah learned that she was pregnant for a second time, and their sixth baby would be coming in 2016! Unsurprisingly, Andy and Sarah were completely ready for the challenge and couldn’t wait to welcome baby number six. “We just really love having these children,” Sarah said on The Today Show.
A baby can be quite an undertaking, but by the time the couple’s sixth baby came, the two were already seasoned veterans at parenting. They felt completely ready to add another baby to their family and weren’t really nervous about it at all. Still, even when you’re used to having a lot of babies at once, a sixth child can really lead to new challenges.
Caleb Joins The Crew
When Caleb joined the Justice family, they now had eight people living under one roof, with a set of triplets, twins, and of course, their new baby boy. Even remembering all of their names would be difficult, wouldn’t it? Despite it all, the Justices continued to approach their family life as an adventure and took things in stride even on challenging days.
Finally Out Of Diapers
When Caleb joined the family, Andy and Sarah were unquestionably masters of changing diapers. Still, the sheer expense and time commitment of changing six sets of diapers day in and day out would have to be exhausting. Therefore, the couple couldn’t wait to start potty training their children. To most people, potty training several kids at once would be torture, but the Justices knew it would work out for the better.
Never Forget The Struggles
A big part of the reason that Andy and Sarah have been able to stay so positive even with the challenges of raising six little ones simultaneously is that they still remember the days when they were unsure whether they’d ever get to become parents. “Having a number of children is a dream come true,” Sarah said. “When you wait for something you appreciate it that much more when you get it.”
As any parent will attest, children seem like they grow very quickly. As such, Andy and Sarah have to constantly be ready for the next big challenge or development in their children’s lives. For instance, the children all needed to get out of their cribs and into toddler beds at about the same time. Sarah described the process as “an adventure,” but said that it was working out well.
Organization Is Key
It probably goes without saying that when you have six children that all have to go to preschool, doctors appointments, and so forth, being organized is extremely important. Still, the family always finds time to do things together, from morning walks to playdates with other children and visits with relatives. They’re also teaching their children to help with chores at a young age.
Many Potty Breaks
Young children have to use the restroom quite often. So with six kids, you could imagine that Andy and Sarah spend a lot of time helping their children out with bathroom breaks. “Potty breaks are a big part of our day when you have five children at the same life stage,” Sarah admitted. Still, the couple really enjoys seeing the kids go through each stage of their growing lives.
A Little Help From Friends
Friendship is a big part of the Justice’s lives. Not only do they still get help from friends and family members when it comes to caring for their six children, but they also know that their kids will never lack for friends, since they all have one another. “We never lack playmates and work to promote love and care between the siblings,” said Sarah.
Big Brothers And Sisters
Although Andy and Sarah’s children are still quite young, they have already taken a real interest in helping with baby Caleb. The older siblings “absolutely adore” Caleb, Andy and Sarah say. It’s even a little relaxing for Andy and Sarah to be able to feed their youngest baby bottles without having to worry about multitasking with other babies as well.
A Happy Ending
In life, it sometimes seems like happy endings are very rare, but Andy and Sarah are proof positive that they do happen. It’s hard to imagine now that at one point, they were told they would likely never be parents. Sarah said that she’s extremely happy to be a mom and even happier that the six children really get along well and care for one another, which makes it all easier.