The Miller family poses for a photo after their adoption hearing in Tuscarawas County Juvenile Court. Pictured from left to right are Uriah, Jaden, Amara, Derek, Sebastian, Magistrate Adam Wilgus, Jasmine (middle), Keva (front), Oliver, Jennifer and Jaelinn. (Photo by Stacey Carmany, Tusco TV)
New Philadelphia, Ohio - A Canton area couple has doubled the size of their family with the adoption of five foster children.
Derek and Jennifer Miller were cheered on by friends and family as they finalized the adoption Thursday in Tuscarawas County Juvenile Court. Derek says the children are all biological siblings who had been placed in their care by Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services.
“After a certain period of time, they became wards of the state, and they asked us if we wanted to adopt, and we said absolutely. So today, February 21st, 2018, here we are. We’re adopting all five of them,” he explains.
Joining the family are 2-year-old Amara, 16-month-old Uriah, 8-year-old Sebastian, 9-month-old Oliver, and 3-year-old Keva. Derek Miller says this comes just three months after they adopted 9-year-old Jaelinn, 10-year-old Jasmine, 14-year-old Jaden, another group of siblings the had been fostering. Derek says they’re grateful to God for giving them the opportunity to welcome these children into their home.
“My wife and I had been talking about doing foster care when we were dating 10 years ago. We had the chance to finally do it when we moved up here to the Canton area, and we were fortunate enough to get a couple phone calls, and it’s just a blessing. It’s a blessing from above. We are grateful for this opportunity, this privilege,” he says.
Jennifer Miller says they’re overjoyed to have made their second adoption official, although she says the children were family from the moment they arrived.
“They were treated no different and they are absolutely treated like family until whatever needed to happen, if they got to go home,” she says. “They didn’t, which there’s a lot of grieving and then rejoicing. We just keep them and their family that they’ve lost in our prayers as well, but we are certainly rejoicing and completely happy because we got a great benefit. We got five beautifully wonderful kids in addition to our three.”
Tuscarawas County Juvenile Court Magistrate Adam Wilgus says this was a very special occasion that he was humbled to be a part of.
“They’re adopting five children, which is a remarkable task. To raise five children takes a lot of effort and for them to step up for these children and make a difference in their lives is a wonderful thing to see,” he says.
The couple is originally from Camden, Ohio. Jennifer says their goal is to move back to that area and into a much larger house.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV