12 NY Amish orphans to be adopted

The twelve Amish children left orphaned after the accident in upstate NY will be adopted.  An Amish uncle and aunt from Ohio will be moving into the children’s home.  From the report:

The Ohio couple must sell a large home they built plus land in Fredericktown before they can relocate to Jasper, the patriarch said: he hopes the couple, who are in their early 30s and have no children, will be able to move “in the fall” of this year.

Immediate family members, including the couple, discussed the potential relocation after the funeral of Elva Hershberger last Friday. The couple and family admitted they had before the funeral separately considered the move as a fitting solution to a poignant situation, the patriarch said, but were hesitant to discuss that option.

“The children have a home” and an extended Amish and non-Amish community who will help the aunt and uncle “care for them,” the patriarch summarized Wednesday.

One impossible outcome would have seen the Amish children, ages 9 months to 18 years, become wards of state.  I say impossible because there is no way the community would have let that happen.

A less happy outcome would have meant the children moving to a different home, or even splitting them up and placing them with different families (probably pretty unlikely).  It looks like the best possible solution has been found with the children remaining in their home.

Over 70 Amish children were affected by the accident, though the Hershberger children are the only ones orphaned.

Is this the largest adoption ever?  It must be close.  Something similar happened in Indiana in the 1980s, when an Amish couple adopted 11 children whose parents also died in a car wreck.

They’ll need, and are sure to get, a lot of help.

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    1. That is the best outcome for the kids. Makes me worry much less about them.

    2. Robin Wyatt

      I think this is the best for the children. They have lost so much already, they don’t need to lose there home, and community that they have know all their lives. It is to bad that more families dont’ take in there relatives too. We might just have less children in the “systems”. Is the Uncle and Aunt also Amish? It didnt’ say. I hope they are. It will help alot.

      1. I agree Robin. And the Ohio uncle and aunt are Amish–I just adjusted the second line to reflect that.

    3. Kathy Rowe

      That is wonderful that the children will stay together. They have enough of a load on their shoulders without having to worry about one another. They are making the best out of a very, very sad situation.

    4. Christine

      How wonderful the Aunt and Uncle are willing to sacrifice their home so the children can stay in their own environment. Hoping the Aunt and Uncle have a similar philosophy for the sake of the children. Anyone know where the children have been staying, if the Aunt and Uncle have already moved or will wait until the sale of their home and land? That could take a while – what happens to the children in the interim?

      This is indeed one of the special attributes of the Amish – no matter what, the children will be cared for and the Aunt and Uncle will receive any needed help/
      God bless them all!

    5. I think this is an example of the self-sacrificing theology of the Anabaptists: Doing what is best for the whole rather than what is most comfortable for oneself. Still, it is quite a task for a childless young couple!

    6. Alice Mary

      Blessing in disguise?

      It’s so good to hear that the orphans will be raised by family, and won’t have to move! It also seems that, despite the horrific circumstances leading to this outcome, the childless Aunt & Uncle have been twelve times blessed with their nieces & nephews to raise. I wish them all well, and hope that the community (Amish & English) continue with their assistance, in the years to come.

      My concern would be that perhaps the Aunt & Uncle might not ask for the help they need, when they need it, being new (quite suddenly) to parenthood. God bless all of them, and the situation the kids and adults find themselves in. I would like to now and then hear an update on this family, as months and years pass. (If I live long enough to read it, a book about their lives, post-accident, would certainly be one I’d want to read…it would most likely inspirational…something this world can use.)

      Alice Mary

      1. Carolyn B

        Alice Mary, good idea re: a book.

        In the updated blog re: the final adoption decree, I mentioned that the story should be made into a Hallmark movie but a book is probably the first step toward this. I’d definitely buy a copy of such a book. I wonder if we can persuade Erik to be the book’s author.

        **Hope you eavesdrop on this note, Erik! LOL!!

    7. Alice Aber

      May God richly bless the young couple that is willing to take on such a huge responsibility and make so many personal sacrifices to do it. God is surely smiling on them for their obedience. And what an amazing example for the rest of the world!!

      Blessings, Alice

    8. Lisa Cregan

      It makes me wonder if this was God’s plan all along for this childless couple. I think it is a wonderful outcome for them as well as their neices and nephews. May God bless them all.

    9. Marilyn in New York

      I had already read somewhere that the Uncle and Aunt were coming to take over the 12 children. It is wonderful that the children will have relatives that will take them and they will not lose their home, friends, etc. They have gone through so much already losing both their parents. It takes a special aunt and uncle to take over the 12 children. I hope all turns out well for all of them. Would like to know how they make out in the future.
      God is with them,

    10. Amish Stories

      I’m really glad that the children will be staying together as a family, and i have a feeling if it weren’t for their relatives from Ohio this story may have had a slightly different ending. I’m also very sure that all of the Amish and non Amish in that small community will be lending a hand to make sure this family gets a good start in bonding and learning to run such a large family. I think the deceased parents of these children would be happy that at least they will be cared for and loved by family members. Richard http://www.Amishstorys.com

    11. Lee Ann

      What a wonderful beginning for this family. The Amish and Mennonite communities are always willing to step in and help family out. One of the things that I admire so much about these people. I am not Amish, but my husband has distant relatives that are. So nice that people still do what we are all expected to do and reach out and help family.