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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

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

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Train tracks leading into Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

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There's no question that Ye's comments praising Hitler and Nazis and denying that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust are hurtful and dangerous. There's no question that bad actors are using Ye's antisemitic comments to push their white nationalist agenda. The question is whether Ye fans would allow their admiration of his musical talents—or whatever else they like about him—to overshadow the fact that he is now regularly spewing pro-Nazi rhetoric to millions of people.

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Cat hilariously rats out owner in front of the landlord.

Maybe it's a right of passage into adulthood or maybe some landlords discriminate against pets because they can't tell people kids are forbidden in their residence. Either way, just about everyone has lived in a rental home that didn't allow pets. Most people just abide by the rules and vow to get a pet when they find a new home.

Some people, on the other hand, get creative. I once came across a post on social media where someone claimed their pit bull puppy was actually a silver Labrador. But one woman on TikTok was harboring a secret cat in her rental that had a no pets policy, and either her cat was unaware or he was aware and was simply being a jerk.

My money is on the latter since cats are known to be jerks for no reason. I mean, have you ever left something on the counter for a few minutes? They make it their mission to knock it on the floor. So I fully believe this fluffy little meow box wanted to make his presence known in an effort to rat out his owner.

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Pop Culture

'Princess Bride' star Mandy Patinkin shared a moving detail about the film with a grieving woman

Two souls connecting over the loss of their fathers. (Phew, grab a tissue for this one, folks.)

via Mandy Patinkin / TikTok

This story originally appeared on 08.25.21


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