Jessica Benzakein, a single mom from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, changed the lives of her six foster sons when she adopted them.
Benzakein has two biological children, 14-year-old Eli and 9-year-old Brenna, but her brood expanded even more when the adoption papers of her six foster sons were signed last Jan. 3, as per TMJ4 on Jan 3.
“I need them,” said Benzakein in the report. “They keep me grounded still.”
Benzakein knows all too well what foster care feels like. Apart from fostering children on her own, Benzakein also grew up in foster care beginning when she was 12 years old, according to TODAY on Jan. 7. Benzakein became involved in foster care so she could help older sibling sets, as she herself was separated from her own brother.
Four of the boys Benzakein adopted–Will, 17; Carter, 14; Sidney, 13; and Markell “Buddy,” 8–are blood-related, as well as Kendrich, 6, and Terrell, 4, as per TODAY.
“In Wisconsin alone, we have over 7,000 foster kids,” she said. “The number of sibling sets is crazy high and they’re often broken up.”
“Everybody tells me how lucky these kids are and what a good thing I did,” she added. “But… I’m going to cry… they grounded me. I went through my 20s thinking I didn’t really need a family, but I did. They give me purpose.”
Today, Benzakein enjoys a dynamic home with her children, with regular dance parties, movie marathons and Friday pizza nights.
“We have fun here. It’s total chaos in a good way. They have a safe place where they can screw up and make mistakes and laugh and joke and poke fun of each other,” said Benzakein. “We’ve been living like a family for a long time. But now, no one can tell us we’re not.” /ra