North Carolina families who adopted Liberian orphans
In the two years since Oprah first heard their story, eight more families in the community opened their homes to 11 more children—a total of 44 children, with more on the way!

The Schwag-Heart family is the largest family of the bunch. They have a total of 10 children and are waiting for their 11th child, a Liberian boy, to arrive. "I have always desired to have a large family," says Sonya, the mother of this blended family. "I think from a very young age, God instilled in my heart that adoption would be part of that large family."

When Bob and his wife, Elizabeth, decided to adopt in 2008, they traveled to Liberia to meet their two children for the first time. There, Bob says he was struck by how much they had in common. "I was overwhelmed first by a sense of, 'Wait a minute. This is not different at all. These are people that are just like me.' They happen to be living in a post-conflict country, but we play the same," he says. "We like the same things. We can talk about the same things."

The families all say they've gone through an adjustment period, but the Liberian children are thriving. In June 2009, 10 of the adopted teens graduated from high school. Many plan to attend college, while others continue to work in the community.

"You all continue to inspire a nation—our country and everybody else who's watching—about what it means to extend your heart in kindness and graciousness and open up to a new family," Oprah says.

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FROM: Oprah's Fascinating Families
Published on October 02, 2009


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