ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) — A family of four has expanded to a family of nine, Friday afternoon.
Longtime foster parents, Roberta and Kevin Kinkle, welcomed five siblings who had been in the foster care system for 1,647 days, which is roughly 4 and a half years.
The couple has four biological kids.
"We've been waiting so long for this day," new parent, Roberta Hinkle explained.
Through a ceremony in Erie County Family Court, Cassie, Jordan, Eli, Jack and Mila not only get to share a home with The Hinkle family but also the same last name.
"We are excited and nervous and very, very grateful," Roberta said.
For the last 1,647 days, these five siblings have been in the foster care system. The siblings have lived with the Hinkles and their four biological children during that time.
Roberta added, "We first got the first three of the five about four and a half years ago. We were told it was going to be a very quick placement. So, we were just like, 'Okay, we're just kind of hanging out with these kids. This is cool.' It got longer and we found out about more kids in the family."
Just a little prayer and guidance from family, friends and social workers through Child & Family Services they figured they could not bear separating the siblings.
"There are so many kids in foster care that are separated and don't see their siblings. It is just heart breaking because these poor children, this isn't their fault. They don't understand what's going on," she said.
Judge LoVallo made the adoption official through a ceremony, in Erie County Family Court.
The Hinkle family has welcomed a total of 15 foster children into their home over the last seven years, through Child & Family Services, a non-profit organization.
The Hinkle Family (previously a family of 4) just expanded to a family of 9! 😁😁 They adopted a set of 5 siblings through foster care. The siblings have been in the foster care system for 1,647 days (roughly 4.5 years). More tonight at 5! #ErieCounty #Adoption #FosterCare @WKBW pic.twitter.com/kQ235Zyhoa— Pheben Kassahun (@PhebenKassahun) March 11, 2022
"We've been doing it for a long time, so we're kind of used to it. We did have to buy a bigger house. We did have to buy a bigger house and a bigger car, but we bring the party. Wherever we go, we bring the crew," the couple shared.