Debbie and John say they have always wanted a big family. It took them eight years to have their only biological child, but they did not give up on their dream of having a big family. They became foster parents through the Methodist Home for Children in Raleigh.
The Home gave the couple a Guardian Angel Award last month for their dedication to improving the lives of children.
"You get to help a child that needs help," Debbie said.
"We brought them into our home one at a time, and when you do that, you can't help but fall in love," John added.
For Debbie and John, the challenge of incorporating adoptive children into the existing family can be a daunting task.
"These kids come into a situation," Debbie said. "They're confused, sometimes they're angry, sometimes their crying. It's your job to calm them down and help them be a part of your family."
In just over 10 months, the couple adopted four children. Having a big family is a challenge, especially when it is all new to them. They sometimes wish they could find more hours in the day.
"I come home from my day job, and I jump into my evening job -- I cook, I clean, I help with the babies," John said. "It just takes teamwork."
With all of that work, will Debbie and John be able to make room for more kids?
"We eventually filled up all of the rooms, and we kind of reached a natural limit: There are no more seats in the minivan," John said. Debbie added that they could buy bigger vehicle if another special child comes along.