ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It was an emotional homecoming, years in the making. An Albuquerque family with big hearts has watched their family grow, by helping kids who need them the most.
A local couple welcomed home their 10th child, a boy with special needs from China. KRQE News 13 had the privilege of meeting the Lopez family, and sharing their special moment.
The laughter that fills the Lopez home in Albuquerque is infectious.
“I think it’s exciting and crazy, but it’s also full of joy,” said 9-year-old Selah Lopez, the oldest of what is now nine siblings.
Bryan and Sherry Lopez are parents to Selah, 9, Matthew, 8, twins Bella and Bentley, 7, Madison, 6, triplets Cameron, Caleb and Christian, 5, and Declan, 3.
Each of their nine kids has a story.
Bryan and his wife Sherry met in high school. They had three kids, and wanted to adopt a fourth.
“In the middle of that two years of waiting, we got an email about the triplets needing a home,” said Bryan Lopez.
The decision to double their family wasn’t easy. The triplets had severe medical problems.
The smallest boy was born at just 13 ounces. “Caleb is the smallest baby to ever survive from Presbyterian,” Lopez told KRQE News 13.
“All three of the boys had a heart condition, so all three of them had heart surgery, all three of them have chronic lung disease,” Lopez explained.
It’s a struggle this family is no stranger to. A year after bringing home the triplets, the young parents learned about twins in Uganda needing a home.
They tried helping the twins find a home, and took them in when no one else could.
During the Uganda adoption process, Bryan and Sherry got another surprise. Sherry was pregnant with Declan.
“We brought them home, and then just a couple months later Declan was born,” Lopez recalled.
However, there were problems. “All of his joints were contractured, there was also malformations in his brain,” Lopez said.
Declan has a rare muscle condition, called Arthrogryposis.
When the family saw photos of a baby in China with the same condition, they reached out to the orphanage to help.
“We don’t know if we can adopt him, but we want to make sure he gets a home,” Lopez recalled. “We have all the contacts for all the right doctors.”
Again, the family felt called to help the baby.
“There was nobody in place to adopt him, so we said we know what this road looks like, we want to do this,” said Lopez.
After two years of waiting, the family is now ready to meet their new brother, Maddox.
“We are really excited,” said Selah.
Their mother flew to China to pick up Maddox. She’s been gone for two weeks.
With white balloons in tow, the Lopez clan filled the Albuquerque Sunport with friends and family Friday night.
“I’ve never been so nervous to go to the airport before,” said Lopez. “It’s exciting getting to meet your son for the first time face to face when for two years you’ve thought about him, and prayed about him, and you’ve missed birthdays, and holidays.”
After waiting, and waiting, Sherry and Maddox finally arrived.
They were greeted with a big welcome, for a special boy.
Lopez held his tenth child for the first time. “I’m just soaking it all in,” he said. “It’s overwhelming.”
So, how do they do it? All ten smiling faces and smiles say it best.
“We really prayerfully consider each and every addition to our family,” said Sherry Lopez. “Every child really does deserve a family.”
Sherry and her husband won’t do it alone. “I love that his brothers and sisters I know will love him so well,” Sherry said, of their new addition.
It’s a love that’s grown tenfold.
Lopez said each of his kids have a buddy, someone they relate to. He hopes Maddox and Declan can be that for each other.
“I can envision them you know racing wheelchairs down the hall, you know having to go through some of the hard things in life together too, but just always having that buddy who’s like them,” Lopez told KRQE News 13.
When asked why the white balloons, Selah told KRQE News 13 it’s so the kids don’t fight over who gets which color.
The Lopez family doesn’t take the responsibility lightly. They said they’ve prayed about it a lot and have a great support system in the community. They also said ten is likely tops.