Twelve Amish orphans adopted

Do you recall the 12 Amish children orphaned last year when their parents died in a highway accident in New York?  The  Hershberger children were officially adopted this past Monday by an uncle and aunt from Ohio.  From the story:

The judge asked each soon-to-be parent and the older children if they wanted to move forward with the adoption: Are you willing “to create a family that has been in place” for almost a year?

The parents and older children spoke with confidence: “yes.”

Younger children smiled and nodded affirmatively as Furfure called their names.

The children’s grandparents smiled as the ceremony moved quickly toward the official moment of adoption.

Judge Furfure told the new family “it’s wonderful that you are here” and compared the joyful hearing with sadder events where too many families are broken apart in the same courtroom.

After the hearing was completed, Furfure remained in the courtroom to offer congratulations and a handshake to the new parents and each child.

The family’s attorney, Brian C. Schu, noted that a home study was completed involving the children, new parents and other relatives. The actual adoptions involved 12 separate petitions to the court, he explained outside the courtroom.

The accident which took the parents’ lives was one of a number of similar incidents at the time, of intoxicated drivers killing Amish on the road.

It must have taken special courage, for both children and new parents, to accept this difficult blessing.

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    1. Robin Wyatt

      A New Family

      I think it is great that all went well for the children and the Uncle and Aunt. This was and is the best thing for all. Have a joyous life.

    2. Fr. Andre Leveille, CSC

      This is why I admire the Amish people so much. There is so muck love and family commitment especially in time of need.

    3. Darlene

      A happy ending to a sad and tragic story. I wish them all happiness in their new life as a family!

    4. Marilyn from NY

      Like the judge said there are so many families that are broken apart in court. It is so nice to this famility still staying together especially with 12 children. The couple taking these children must be special people sent by God to take on twelve children. I love that the Amish take care of their own.

      1. OldKat

        I agree

        It would take some VERY special people to adopt 12, count ’em, TWELVE children all at the same time. I am not entirely sure I could do it, quite frankly. I pray that if I was called upon to do this that God would provide the strength to get me through it. My wife on the other hand would dive head first into something like this. I think she is a better example of a Christian than I am though.

      2. John Powell

        Amish and Mennonite Love..

        I am an “english” that found the support I was in need of in the Mennonite community. I had not experienced this response of love at any other church I have ever attended or was a member…Their faith and commitment is not for everyone but I have found the resting place and common, like precious faith ,that will sustain me until our Lord comes to take us home to the place He prepares for those who love Him and live according to His Precepts!PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!


        1. Paul A. B.

          John, I too find great spiritual comfort even from simple visits to Mennonite country. There is something in the lived faith of the people that speaks to me on a spiritual level. That is why I constantly stress how much more their *lived* witness speaks to me (and earns my respect) than any *spoken*, or preached, witness. God bless.

    5. Rich Stevick

      Thanks, Erik . . .

      In the midst of so much tragedy, bad news, or political bickering and sniping, it’s heart-warming to read of this lovely event.
      Rich Stevick

    6. Brenda Henry

      Just yesterday, when I drove my Amish neighbor in to town, for some reason the subject of adoption came into our conversation. He told me about his cousin adopting a little girl, about 14 years ago. They went from the east to the west coast to pick up their new baby, and was shocked to realize she was black. They have loved and raised her in their Amish home, however, many of the other kids in the community and school make fun of her. I guess this shows that ‘bullying’ happens in all faiths.

    7. Carolyn B

      Loved this heart-warming post. Thanks, Erik.

      I want to check back within your blogs and other sources to see if I can find out more about them such as did the adopting aunt & uncle have their own biological children in the home, the age range of the adopted nieces & nephews,etc.

      Now this is a floor plan of a home I really would love to see. They would need 7 bedrooms minimally I would think. I hope there’s 2 bathrooms, or at least a two-seater if they are the type to use outhouses. Do large families like this use bunk beds to conserve space?

      I hope someone makes a Hallmark movie out of this situation. Forgiveness, loss, grief, re-building a family–all family values sorely needed in this old world. The family could probably use any royalties to finance the children’s futures. It would definitely be a story worthy of the Hallmark brand.

      1. John Powell

        12 children adopted..

        I agree…why can’t Hollywood make some true story movies about what is right with the world instead the rape,violence,killing et al. that is produced about shootings and deceit etc.! ?

    8. LeeAnn

      I admire the aunt and uncle for taking on this huge adventure of raising 12 children. I like old kat, don’t think I could do this.
      So wonderful to hear they were all kept together and stayed within the family. Glad this could turn out the way it has!

    9. This really does warm my heart. My brother and I have agreed we’d take each other’s children should something happen but they only have 2 and we only have 3 (which actually are all adults now). I agree with Carolyn (above), wouldn’t this make a great Hallmark movie? I’m so happy you shared this ~ thanks.

    10. Juanita Cook

      I love that the Amish take care of each other in the the time of need. The children & the new parents are so blessed to have each other. I wish everyone felt this way and would keep children together when they adopt. This is another reason why we all need to be more like the Amish people. I wish them all he very best and many blessing from our Lord.

    11. SharonR

      12 Amish orphans adopted

      That is great news!! I wish for the whole family and the 12 children to have a peaceful and happy life, in this transition. Very heartwarming! Thanks Erik for sharing.

    12. Annmarie

      Think that is such a happy ending to such a sad story for those kids. I think If God called me to raise 12…I could do so with his strength and guidance. I have 5 children now and pray God sees me fit for one more..but His will be done not mine….I just hope and pray they are in…As far as space goes…you really don’t need that much..we have it..and my kids still all congregate together:) they enjoy each others company(most of the time). Here is just an example of what I mean: my 14 year old had a close friend sleep over and in that same bedroom- my eldest sleeps…..and on the floor in sleeping bags were my 3 youngest kids as well. My daughter’s friend thought it strange the the youngest ones were sleeping there too..I simply explained every night they set themselves up like that bc they truly enjoy being together. This friend has siblings the same age as 2 of my younger ones(10 and 7) and she replied I can’t stand my brother and sister. I felt sad she did not understand the greatest gift is brothers and sisters….not materialistic things.

    13. Alice Mary

      If 3's a crowd...?

      God bless them all, every last one of them!

      Do the aunt & uncle have children of their own, also? And where do the Grandparents live? It would be an extra blessing (and more hands for the task) if they lived nearby (does anyone know?).

      I think I’ve truly become a calmer, quieter person these past few years, learning about the Amish and their peaceful & cooperative ways & outlook on life. I hope I can remember this story when the going gets a little tough for me…where there’s a will, there truly is a way! 🙂

      Alice Mary

    14. Richard from Amish Stories

      I agree with Rick about this being refreshing and positive news to hear since most of the news for quite a while has been negative and depressing, and a child without a real home is the sadist news of all. Richard .

    15. Galen

      Thanks Erik.

      I agree with Rick and Richard. The Amish have a way of turning tragedy into a blessing. I read the originial story and was reminded of God’s amazing grace. These people seem so resilient and are so quick to forgive. It puts my life and struggles into perspective.

    16. Alice M. Aber


      What a wonderful ending to such a sad event!! So happy the children are doing well and this is now an official family. Such good news!!

      Blessings, Alice

    17. George H.
    18. Kentuckylady717

      Great story Erik, and thank God for the people who adopted these 12 children….

    19. Kentuckylady717

      I was just thinking Erik, this could be a job for you to do. You could get a crew together and go film it and make it into a great movie…..

    20. Lance

      This is an excellent example of Amish self-sacrifice. The lives of these children were not completely destroyed by the loss of their parents. The couple gained what they were not given naturally by God. Chance or Providence? God is always in control. To Him be all the Glory!

      1. Paul A. B.

        Lance, that is so well said.

        Self-sacrifice for a purpose higher than oneself is what it’s all about. How completely opposite that is to the material-focused, “me first” drive of our wider culture! And yet, if we think about it – if all people adopted this value, how different life would be for so many.

        The older I get, the more convinced I am that materialism and selfishness are indeed a one-way road to a sad place.

    21. Valerie

      Wonderful, Precious News

      Amen Lance
      It is the way of the Cross, dying to self, but how many of us wouldn’t wrestle terribly with such a challenge? My husband & I were talking about how difficult it would be for most Christians in our day to take on such a loving self-sacrifice as this-most we know find it difficult to afford the small families they have because what used to be considered frivolous & luxuries are now considered to be the norm-questioning what we’d have to “give up” to make something like this happen. To many, it would seem impossible-just think about your own life if met with this suddenly.
      We were humbled.

      This is truly an example of Matthew 5:16: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.

      It’s difficult to not give glory to the Father whose worked this all out in loving hearts.

      1. John Powell

        12 orphans adopted

        I only regret that I didn’t adopt a Vietnamese child while I was in the Marine Corps in 1970…Now I am too old to do what my heart said 42 yrs. ago…the Amish and Mennonites are wonderful people..give them respect and they will give the glory to God! John A. Powell Usmc 67′-71