MARIANNA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It's 3 o'clock on a Friday afternoon and the sounds coming from this Foosball table are no match for the competitive cries of these kids.
Team Erica is taking on Team Eric. But don't let their rival attitudes fool you, because these two are really part of a team of seven. And Dashoan and Sofia Olds are their coaches or just mom and dad.
“We always wanted to be a blessing and adopt a child,” Dashoan said.
For the Marianna couple, adoption had always been at the forefront of their mind. But it wasn't until they saw a story NewsChannel 7/Local 18 aired on the kids, dived up between several foster families, that it felt like a calling.
“It was a done deal from the day we saw the story," Sofia said. "Before we even met them, it was a done deal. When I saw that picture, it was a done deal for me, honestly. We looked at each other and said, we've got to do this. It's time. There's no maybe, we have to do this.”
And so they did.
Into their hearts they welcomed Dava, Erica, Eric, Zavian, Leondras, Reginald, and 12 year-old Necia, the oldest of the bunch, who confesses she thought this day, would never come.
“We thought we would never get adopted, but I thought this was a really good blessing for us,” Necia said.
Blair Bell with the Children's Home Society was told that she should have the children adopted out separately.
“I heard from so many people that finding a home for seven children would be impossible,” Bell said. “Siblings is that's the longest bond that you'll have; it was very important to find a home that would be able to take all seven and make a real forever family.”
Dashoan and Sofia say they have a lot to teach.
“We're going to build their faith up, we're going to build them educationally,” Dashoan said. “We're going to get them active in a sport or an activity, or something extracurricular. And we're going to love each other so, we're going to do all of it.”
All of it, together as one team.
For those considering adopting children, Dashoan and Sofia said to keep an open mind and remember there's never truly a perfect time for anything.
According to the Life Management Center, more than 900 children in Florida are awaiting adoption, 200 of which are in Northwest Florida's six-county circuit.
Fore more information, visit lmccares.org.