Watch the Emotional Moment Three Foster Kids Receive Adoption Papers for Christmas: 'You're One of Us Now'
"It would be the best present, I think, that we could give them," Michael Perks tells PEOPlE of his children's finalized adoption papers
Santa’s got nothing on this Oregon couple!
Two days before Christmas last year, Sarah and Michael Perks received finalized adoption papers for their three foster children. And with the holidays near, there was only one thing for the parents to do with the documents.
“We thought it would be a good idea to put their adoption papers under the tree,” Michael, of Harrisburg, Oregon, tells PEOPLE. “We thought it would be a great surprise. It would be the best present that we could give them.”
And a surprise it was. In a Facebook video, the Perks captured the moment Corbin, 13, Kierra, 8, and Damien, 4, each received their first Christmas present – finalized adoption papers.
The video shows Corbin doing the honors, opening a holiday box and pulling out the papers. Michael is heard in the video proclaiming, “You’re officially a Perks!” And a child is heard saying, “You’re one of us now!”
The road to adoption was a long one for the three siblings. Corbin, Kierra and Damien had been in the Perks’ care for about six years, making the big day that much sweeter.
“It was really, really emotional for everybody,” Michael, 35, tells PEOPLE. “Everybody was hugging and kissing, smiles all around.”
The couple uploaded the heartwarming photo to Facebook that day, but didn’t expect what happened next.
“It kind of blew up,” Michael tells PEOPLE of the video. “It had about three million views, and that was back in May. It’s crazy.”
And with the holiday season in full swing, the video has received international attention yet again, with multiple news sites covering the story. But Michael says he and Sarah initially uploaded the footage “to share the experience” with family.
“It’s heartwarming to read a lot of the responses that people have given to it,” Michael says. “Sharing their experiences that they had in foster care or being adopted, it’s really nice to read.”
Michael and Sarah have four other children: Isaac, 16, Caleb 14, Isabella 12 and 9-year-old Juvanna.
Although their adopted children were over the moon about their life-changing present, Michael says the gift-giving didn’t stop there.
“They got spoiled for sure,” he says, noting that the children also received an Xbox, video games and the “standard pajamas.”
Now, one year later, the video continues to garner attention, but Michael says the three children have already adapted to life as Perks.
“Everybody gets along really well. My daughters are inseparable,” he says. “Corbin and my biological son are the best of friends.”
He adds: “Damien is the center of attention, he’s a showman.”