5 'amazing' siblings were living in separate foster care homes, so this family adopted them all
via Andi Bonura

Eleven years ago, Andi Bonura of Texas was told she wouldn't be able to have any more children, now she has eight.

Her and her husband, Thomas', oldest child Joey, 11, was born with a twin, Eli, but he passed away at just five months. Joey pulled through and has been living with cerebral palsy and visual impairment, but his mother told Good Morning America he's the "happiest kid in this house."

"When we lost Eli, we were told we couldn't have any more children, and we were devastated," Andi told CBS News. "And we actually started looking at adoption then, but for some amazing reason, we had two more daughters that were a complete shock."


The daughters, Sadie and Daphne are now 10 and eight.

The Bonura family now had three children but they didn't stop there. Knowing it would be risky to have any more biological children, they turned to fostering in 2017.

via Andi Bonura

"Then they told us to come pick up our now 2-year-old Bryson," who joined the family right out of the NICU. "We didn't think we would have him forever or anything. We were there to love him for now. But we found out he had siblings," she said.

Bryson has four siblings that had all been split up into different foster care homes. So Andi asked if she could foster some of the siblings, and was approved.

"We still weren't thinking we were going to have them forever. We were just happy they were together," she told CBS News.

Then, to the family's surprise, they learned that all five children would be put up for adoption because their parents terminated their rights as guardians.

"We had already been meeting with the twins, who are now 8, and we just loved them. They were constantly asking when they were going to move into our house," she said.

via Andi Bonura

In May, after two years of going through the adoption process, they were granted the adoption via a Zoom call with through the DePelchin Children's Center. Thomas, 8, Carter, 8, David, 6, Gabrielle, 4 and Bryson, 2 now had a forever family.

"The kids have been through a lot but they're the sweetest. They're amazing — and resilient," Andi said.

Being a parent to eight children is no easy task and Andi gives a lot of the credit to the support she receives from other foster parents.

"The only reason I made it through all of this is because of the other foster moms and the support we have for each other," she said. "Honestly, I'm nothing special. If anything, it's the other moms who encouraged me."

Andi says it feels like all eight siblings have been together their entire lives. "They love each other and they support each other and they look out for each other. They're so proud to be brothers and sisters."

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

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"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less