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7 siblings orphaned in a tragic car crash are all adopted by the same empty-nester couple
via second.chance.7 / Instagram

Seven children survived a car crash in El Centro, California in 2018, but tragically, their parents did not. It was another devastating moment in the lives of the children who had been raised in and out of homeless shelters because their parents were addicts.

A few months later, a ray of hope shone in their lives when they were the focus of a segment on foster children on CBS 8 News in San Diego. The emotional segment went viral and Pam Willis, 50, watched it several times on Facebook.

"I can't explain it — I just knew I was supposed to be their mom," Pam told Today Parents.


She even tagged her husband in the comments.

via Facebook

At the time, the Willis' fifth and youngest child was a senior in high school and the couple were about to be empty-nesters. "I saw seven and thought 'oh my goodness.' The first thing I thought of was, 'No one's going to have room for them.' And the second thing I thought was 'I have room for them," she told CBS.

"I thought Gary was going to tell me I was wacko — we were getting ready to retire," Pam admitted. But, after seeing the video, Gary felt the same way.

7 siblings who survived a crash which killed their parents celebrate first Mother's Daywww.youtube.com

Pam called the adoption agency and it said they had already received thousands of requests to foster the children. Two months later, Pam and Gay were matched with Adelino, 15, Ruby, 13, Aleecia, 9, Anthony, 8, Aubriella, 7, Leo, 5, and Xander, 4.

During the screening process, the Willis family learned the children had endured a lot of trauma during their chaotic upbringing and still had psychological and physical scars from the accident.

The older children were reluctant to form a bond initially.

"It was easy to connect with the little ones. They were just desperately craving permanency," Pam said. "The older two were a little trickier."

"I think they didn't quite trust that we were real. Like maybe we were going to go away," Pam said. "I think it's so hard to trust when so much has been taken from your life. Ruby didn't know how to be a kid. She had to be a mother figure at a very young age."

But last August, the adoption was final and the seven children had a virtual adoption ceremony with their new siblings, Matthew, 32, Andrew, 30, Alexa, 27, Sophia, 23, and Sam, 20.

The oldest child, Adelino, is grateful for his new parents.

"Thank you for everything," he said. "You took us out of a really difficult, difficult time and honestly, I probably wouldn't have been here now if it weren't for you guys. Thank you."

After the adoption, Pam and Gary's oldest daughter made an Instagram video about the couple that went viral, even catching the attention of actor Kristen Bell who shared it on her page.

Pam hopes that her story will inspire others to foster and adopt children, too.

"There are so many children in need of homes - as you know from doing your stories - and I feel this huge responsibility to make people aware of that," Pam said. "I think it's a whole world people don't understand or know, but if they did - would have a heart for it."

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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