For some, the road to parenthood can be downright painful. Doctor’s appointments pile up, feelings of inadequacy fester, and all the while, the decorated nursery stays empty. One married couple from Tulsa, Oklahoma, knew that pain all too well.
The newlyweds wanted nothing more than to start a family, but, try as they might, natural methods weren’t working. When they explored other opportunities for parenthood, however, they were soon dealing with way more than they’d bargained for…
Sarah and Andy Justice of Tulsa, Oklahoma, had been married three-and-a-half years when their doctor sent them to a fertility specialist in St. Louis — nearly 400 miles away.
The Justices made the drive without hesitating; after all, they’d been trying futilely for a baby boy or girl since they finally tied the knot in the early 2010s. They knew they needed a little professional guidance.
The fertility specialist suggested in-vitro fertilization: for somewhere between $30,000 and $60,000, the Justices had about a 10 percent chance of getting pregnant. Yikes.
“We took that as a ‘no,’”Andy said. So, he and Sarah considered other options for starting the family they prayed for before ultimately settling on adoption. But that, too, proved difficult.
The Justices created a “Life Book,” which served as a sort of resume for expecting women looking to put their newborns up for adoption. A few mothers reached out to the Justices, hoping to interview them.
But then? “Then they changed their minds,” Sarah said. “It was very hard to get our hopes up like that and then be disappointed and have to start all over.” Nevertheless, the Justices kept hoping.
Eventually, though, a birth mother selected them as the perfect parents for her newborn baby! Sarah and Andy heaved sighs of relief — until they took the birth mother for the ultrasound.
The birth mother would deliver not one, not two, but THREE babies. Triplets! But the adopting parents kept cool heads. A big family was what they wanted, right?
The triplets, named Elizabeth, Hannah, and Joel, were born two months premature in 2013. They each weighed just three pounds and were placed immediately into neonatal care.
While doctors and nurses attended to the triplets, though, Sarah visited her own doctor. There, she and Andy received their second big surprise of the year…
Perhaps knowing they had triplets on the way squashed any stresses or anxieties in the Justice household because, despite the earlier odds, Sarah was pregnant! But then she went for a sonogram.
There, the technician told Sarah she was due to birth twins! Another two babies on top of the three she and Andy had just adopted! “I was shocked and a bit overwhelmed,” Sarah said.
She continued, “I got to thinking, added it up and I’m like, wow, if they go to term we’re about five babies in eight months. But we were really excited because it was something we’ve been dreaming of and longing for for years.”
Andy, on the other hand, could only laugh. When he learned Sarah was pregnant, he’d joked that it would be with twins. “That’ll teach me to keep my mouth shut,” he said, once realizing they’d be adding onto the triplets.
So that was how Andy and Sarah ended up bringing five newborn babies — Abigail, Andrew, Joel, Hannah, and Elizabeth — back to their modest, ranch-style home in east Tulsa. Though there were some interesting difficulties…
They couldn’t tell their kids apart! At first, they painted their toenails different colors, but when winter arrived and their socks went on, they devised other methods to tell who was who.
Sarah and Andy outfitted their kids with unique clothes. Hannah and Elizabeth, for instance, wear different bows in their hair. But telling their kids apart wasn’t the only struggle…
Those kids could really use the bathroom. The five of them soiled over 300 diapers a week between them. With the price of diapers, that makes $30,000 for IVF not seem so bad!
But Sarah and Andy wouldn’t change a thing: “It was something we’ve wanted so badly that we love it,” Sarah said, and their family photos definitely make that clear!
Sarah doesn’t claim that their life is easy, but, she adds: “It’s not to say it’s not a lot of work and we’re not tired a lot, but it’s great. We just really love having these children.”
If you thought adopted triplets would be a handful, then what does that make triplets and twins? Andy and Sarah are certainly busy, but they seem more than happy to take on the challenge!
Share these adopted triplets and newborn twins with your friends below!