Family with seven children adopts three more

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Chicago family with seven kids got a lot bigger Sunday night. Kiel and Caroline Twietmeyer just returned to Chicago from Africa where they went to adopt three children.

The Twietmeyers are big-hearted people, but the story of why they jumped at the chance to have ten kids is nothing short of a lesson in love.

Airports are often emotional places, and there's a quiet anticipation in the hearts of the extended Tweitmeyer family, seven kids, grandparents and friends

"We are just anxious to see our new brothers and sister and our parents, as well. It's been two weeks," said daughter Kylie Tweitmeyer.

The family is welcoming three new siblings from Ethiopia who, against all odds, have been adopted as a unit after living modestly in an orphanage following their mother's death.

Grandmother Elly says her son and his wife believe this is their ministry from God, having almost lost their last three babies at birth.

"Because the Lord healed them and kept them, and sustained them, they feel their mission is to take care of needy babies and mothers," Elly Tweitmeyer said.

The plane was late Sunday, but the new family finally emerged: Eight-year-old Rachel, 4-year-old Habtamu, who wants to be called Samuel in the U.S. and the baby, Matteos.

As an advocate for adoptions of special needs children, 30-year-old mother Caroline first wanted to adopt only one child, then, reality intervened.

"We just realized that we don't make our own plans, and it has been an incredible experience," Caroline Tweitmeyer said.

Kylie, the couple's second oldest child, is excited.

"At first, I was thinking it is going to be crazy because there are six kids at the house now, but now, I think it is really cool what we are doing," she said.

That is a sentiment shared by father Kiel, a 34-year-old union painter who has faith that he is just an instrument in God's plan. He believes issues of money, race and the future will all work out.

"We are all equal in God's eyes, and these kids need a home, and we have room in the house and food in the fridge and love to give," he said.

The family lives in Homewood and credits their church for giving them the support they need. And, while Kiel and Caroline were in Africa, an anonymous donor covered all of their costs for the adoption, including the trip.

To find out more, call Project Hopeful at 815-469-3871.

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