Friday, December 22, 2006

Seven brothers adopted by foster parents

From empty nest to proud parents of 7
Owen, Karen. Lexington Herald-Leader, Sept. 17, 2006, pg. B4.

OWENSBORO -- Allen and Anna Gregg wanted children but couldn't have any of their own. Now, their empty nest is full.

They officially became the parents of seven in early September.

The transition wasn't as sudden as it sounds. The Greggs have been foster parents to the seven boys, all biological brothers, and kept other foster children before that.

Their now-permanent brood ranges in age from 7 1/2 months to 8 years old.

"Every morning's a workout. Every day is a marathon," Allen Gregg said.

"Lots of hugs. Lots of fits," is how Anna Gregg summarizes the family's new life.

Her husband is president of the Homeless Council for the Ohio Valley. The Greggs also run a vending business and a dog kennel.

The burgeoning family lives in an 1,800-square-foot, three-bedroom house along Ky. 81 near Rome.

Three are still in diapers or training pants. Anna Gregg estimates she spends $200 on groceries a week and about that much on baby food and diapers each month. She said she does laundry only "on days that end in 'y'."

The couple tried for years to have a family before pursuing adoption. They didn't have a big family in mind, but "I was raised with seven siblings," Anna Gregg said. "This is normal to me."

For the most part, the children are healthy and showing little emotional damage from the upheaval they've faced. "They're good boys," Allen Gregg said.

But their close ages and having to share bedrooms intensify the sibling rivalry, the parents said.

"They're just fighting," Anna Gregg said calmly during an outburst from the next room. "They're fine."


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