Oregon Mom Raised 12 Kids, 9 Of Them Adopted | TODAY


>>>NOW TO THE MOTHER’S DAY
SERIES MAGNIFICENT MAMAS. TODAY WE’RE GOING TO INTRODUCE
YOU TO AN OREGON MOM WHO RAISED 12 CHILDREN.
>>WE’RE TALKING 12 AND RAISING SUCH A BIG FAMILY HAD ITS
CHALLENGES. BUT IT WAS HER LOVING AND GIVING
SPIRIT THAT MADE EACH OF HER KIDS FEEL SPECIAL.
>>MY NAME IS MOLLY BARRETT AND I AM NOMINATING MY MOTHER,
CHRISTIE OBIE BARRETT. SHE IS JUST REALLY SPECIAL.
FIRST SHE RAISED 12 CHILDREN. SHE HAD THREE ADOPTED AND
BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN ALL WITHIN NINE MONTHS OLD.
>>CHRISTIE AND HER HUSBAND BILL RAISED 12 CHILDREN TOGETHER.
THE WELCOME SIGN OVER THEIR FRONT DOOR SAYING IT ALL.
>>I ALWAYS HAD IN MY MIND THAT I WANTED 12.
AND I TOLD BILL WHEN WE MET THAT I WANTED 12.
WE HAD THREE BIOLOGICAL KIDS. I THOUGHT, WELL, THIS IS THE
NATURAL TIME TO LOOK INTO ADOPTION.
THERE WAS THIS NEED WITH AFRICAN-AMERICAN BABIES THAT
WERE WAITING FOR HOMES. >>I PUT MY FOOT DOWN EIGHT
TIMES. AND EACH ONE OF THE KIDS, EVERY
TIME CHRISTIE WOULD COME TO ME AND SAY, WHAT DO YOU THINK, I
WOULD SAY TO MYSELF, WHERE WOULD THEY BE IF THEY’RE NOT WITH US.
>>THE BARRETTS ENDED UP WITH 7 BOYS AND 5 GIRLS, INCLUDING
ADOPTED SISTERS. ALL OF THEM ARE GROWN UP, THE
YOUNGEST BOUND FOR COLLEGE. FROM THE START, THIS FAMILY
SHARED EVERYTHING. >>WE REALLY WORKED ON THE
HAND-ME-DOWNS. >>FAMILY MEALS REQUIRED THREE
TABLES, BUT EVEN IN THIS CROWDED HOUSE, CHRISTIE MADE SURE EACH
OF HER KIDS FELT SPECIAL. >>WE WOULD HAVE ONE NIGHT A
WEEK WHERE WE WOULD GET TO CHOOSE WHAT WE WOULD MAKE AND WE
WOULD ALL COOK IT TOGETHER. SHE WOULD MAKE US HALLOWEEN
COSTUMES BY HAND. SHE IS THE PERSON THAT I ALWAYS
THINK TO CALL WHEN THERE’S ANYTHING GOING ON, HAPPY OR SAD.
>>I REALLY TRIED TO MAKE TIME FOR THEM, TO NURTURE THEIR
INDIVIDUAL CREATIVITY AND LOVES AND DESIRES.
>>BILL, A RADIO DEEJAY, AND CHRISTIE SCRIMPED AND SAVED TO
GIVE EACH CHILD THEIR OWN BIRTHDAY PARTIEPARTIES.
AND AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES. >>THERE WAS A LOT OF FUN TIMES,
A LOT OF GREAT TIMES AND JUST AMAZING HOW SHE WAS ABLE TO
JUGGLE WHAT SHE DID EVERY DAY FOR EACH OF US.
>>CHRISTIE TAUGHT HER KIDS TO BE EACH OTHER’S BEST FRIENDS.
>>I CAN TALK TO MY OLDER SISTERS OR WITH MY OLDER
BROTHERS ABOUT SCHOOL PROBLEMS, AND THEY’LL JUST HELP ME WITH
THEM. >>THE GREATEST GIFT THAT MY MOM
GAVE ME WAS MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
I HAVE 11 PEOPLE THAT I CAN CALL AT ANY TIME THAT WOULD BE THERE
IN A HEARTBEAT. >>BUT IN THEIR SMALL RURAL TOWN
OF EUGENE, OREGON, RAISING A MIXED RACE FAMILY HAD ITS
CHALLENGES. >>WE HAD ISSUES WITH THEM BEING
FOLLOWED BY THE POLICE, OR ALL THE STORIES YOU HEAR, YOU KNOW,
BEING CALLED THE N WORD. >>IT DOESN’T MATTER IF THEY’RE
BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN OR IF WE LOOK ALIKE, SHE JUST TAUGHT US
TO LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY. >>BRADEN SAYS HIS MOM HELPED
HIM THROUGH THE YEARS OF STRUGGLING WITH ANXIETY AND
DEPRESSION. >>SHE WAS ALWAYS THERE FOR ME,
HELPING ME OUT WITH IT. ALWAYS GIVING ME ADVICE,
BRINGING ME UP WITH POSITIVE WORDS.
>>COOPER, WHO HAS ASBERGER’S, A FORM OF AUTISM, BEGAN TO DRIVE.
>>SHE HELPED ME REALLY RESPOND TO PEOPLE SOCIALLY.
>>NOW CHRISTIE HAS TAKEN HER PASSION FOR KIDS NATIONWIDE,
STARTING HER OWN NONPROFIT TO HELP FOSTER CHILDREN.
IT’S ALREADY PLACED MORE THAN 5,000 KIDS WITH ADOPTIVE
FAMILIES. >>SHE MAKES YOU WANT TO BE A
BETTER PERSON BECAUSE YOU KNOW SHE IS DOING EVERYTHING IN HER
POWER TO HELP OTHERS. AND SO GROWING UP IN THAT
HOUSEHOLD, YOU STRIVE TO BE BETTER.
>>OKAY. OH, THAT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL!
>>SHE IS SO AWESOME. YOU KNOW WHAT, THAT FATHER, TOO.
KUDOS TO HIM. >>HE PUT HIS FOOT DOWN EIGHT
TIMES. >>EIGHT TIMES HE PUT HIS FOOT
DOWN. >>CHRISTIE, MOLLY

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