BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jonisha Sumerlin went through two pregnancies that in one way or another broke her heart. But she says adoption has been a blessing like no other.
“My husband and I have always wanted to adopt. We wanted to adopt when we first met. He wanted 10 children and I wanted seven,” says Sumerlin.
It’s a full house at the Sumerlin’s with seven—that’s right, seven children. The oldest is 12. Jonisha Sumerlin gave birth to four, and three are adopted.
After giving birth to Jocelyn, her oldest, Jonisha Sumerlin became pregnant with quadruplets. Unfortunately, only one of them survived. Then, she gave birth to twin girls. But that birth also had its difficulties.
“I hemorrhaged so bad that I almost lost my life. And my husband I remember, in the ICU came to me and said ‘it’s ok’. That’s when he decided, he decided right then, ok, we’re going to adopt.”
They were planning on just adopting one child, but when they were introduced to three siblings, she knew she couldn’t separate them. They came to live with them in March and the adoption was finalized in September.
“It’s been a process, but it really has been, it’s been worth it. And I would do it again.”
Jedidah is nine, Jonathan is eight, and Josie is six.
“They really became my kids. The first day we met them, they called us mom and dad. So they really became our kids. So they really became our kids then.”
Jonisha says when they were adopted, the siblings saw it as a clean slate—right down to changing their names.
“I loved their names! I did, I loved their names, but they said, mom if we’re going to start over, we want to start over. They all came to me and that was their time, they wanted a fresh start completely.”
She says anyone thinking of adopting should do a lot of soul searching first.
“I’m not going to lie and say it’s a piece of cake honey, go for it! But I’m going to tell you it’s worth it to know these children have one more chance to go to college or one more chance to do what they’ve dreamed to do. You know, they just want love. They just want someone who’s going to say I love you and mean it. That’s all they want.”
They are currently moving out of their three bedroom house and into a larger one where everyone will get their own bed.