A Pennsylvania family has a passion for adoption. Kelly and Dale Harnish had already adopted 6 children from China and South Korea when their son Toby found his best friend in a photo from his old orphanage, a home for children with visual impairments. They learned that his friend was just months from turning 14 and aging out of the child welfare system. Despite concerns about their ability to accommodate another child, the Harnishes knew they had to adopt him.
“When you know the bond between your child and another is like a brother, it is like there is family sitting on the other side of the world. You have to decide whether or not you are going to let them sit there. It becomes personal,” said Kelly.
Toby is being adopted with another girl, Clara, another expanding the family from 9 members to 11. be the 8th child in a family of children ranging in age from 10-19.
Adopting two more kids won’t come without challenges. There are practical matters, such as finding a vehicle and home large enough to accommodate the family, as well as the emotional work of helping the kids adjust to life in their new homes.
Though it will be challenging, the Harnishes know they’re making a difference in the lives of their children. “We still have a lot of life left in us,” says Kelly, “and why spend that all on ourselves when there are kids that need families and are literally dying? I do not think I could live with that guilt.”