Michigan Couple Adopts 6 Siblings, Keeping the Kids Together: 'There's Never a Dull Moment'

Gabrielle and Shannon Fessenden initially adopted three siblings, and eventually went on to adopt their three siblings, too

Couple keeps 6 siblings together through adoption: 'There's lots of love and chaos'
Photo: PawPrints Photography

Saturday, Nov. 23 marks National Adoption Day, and PEOPLE is taking a look back at some of the most inspiring adoption stories of 2019. This story was originally published on Aug. 8.

A Michigan couple says their house is full of “love and chaos” after they took six siblings under their wing and adopted them as their own.

Gabrielle and Shannon Fessenden were already parents to two children but had always wanted to adopt, too, Gabrielle told Good Morning America.

While browsing through the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange website, Gabrielle stumbled upon photos of three siblings — Jordan, Jay and Myah — who were to be separated if they were unable to find a home in the coming weeks.

The Fessendens quickly made moves, and the children were welcomed into their home in November 2012 and adopted a year later.

Gabrielle told GMA she was quickly sold on the kids’ personalities. She described Myah, now 9, as “full of spunk and spice and sugar,” adding that she has the “best belly laugh on the face of the planet.”

“Jordan was spunky, athletic — his dream was to play soccer. Giving him permanency allowed him to be able to be part of a sports team,” she said of the 15-year-old.

“Jay was very quiet and reserved, but he is amazing now,” she said of her son, now 10. “He has high-functioning autism, but he’s insanely smart and incredibly social.”

Fessenden Family
The Fessenden family. The Fessenden Family

By May 2014, the children’s mother had had another child, Jericho, now 5, who was adopted that December.

According to GMA, the kids, who all share the same mother, had come from an “unstable environment,” and their biological parents’ rights were terminated.

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Briella, 4, was born shortly after Jericho’s first birthday, and Gabrielle and Shannon finalized her adoption in December 2015.

Two years later, Mason was born with multiple birth defects, including fetal alcohol syndrome.

The Fessendens welcomed him into the family, too, and his adoption was finalized in June.

“Our oldest Jordan said, ‘Mason is hilarious and fun and a missing piece. He filled the void I didn’t know I had,’ ” Gabrielle recalled. “That, of course, made us all sob. It was another link for us to keep these kids together.”

The new additions have fit seamlessly into the couple’s lives with biological children Scott, 11, and Giana, 8, with Gabrielle joking that the family’s hashtag is inspired by the saying “There’s never a dull moment.”

“It’s never quiet. There’s lots of love and chaos,” she told GMA. “There’s always scampering feet, laughing and giggling, running.”

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