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They call themselves the “Rainbow Family.” The Myers children come from a variety of cultures; they are Caucasian, Hispanic and African-American. They are also legally adopted.
For the Myers, they are a family that was always meant to be together.
Kristina and Harpin Myers of Kempner built their family with two biological children and five adopted children through the foster care system. November is National Adoption Awareness Month.
The Myers had daughter, Elizabeth, and then adopted their first son, Stephen. When he was 4 weeks old, he was “surrendered” and placed in Child Protective Services, which means his biological parents gave up all rights to him.
The Myers later had daughter, Kathrine, and thought their family was complete. They continued to care for foster children over the next eight years as their children grew up and decided the last group of foster children they accepted would be their last.
That’s when Sara, Emily, Daniel and Alexandra Mary came into their home.
“I didn’t have the heart to split them up and that probably would’ve happened if they’d stayed in the system,” Kristina Myers said.
Adoption has worked well for the Myers. Kristina Myers said it all goes back to her faith.
“We’re a strong Catholic family. (Pregnancy) termination is not a concept we consider,” she said. “There are kids that need homes. You can’t say no to termination and not be willing to adopt. You can’t have it both ways.”
Eight children in Coryell County were adopted from CPS this year, said Julie Moody of Child Protective Services.
Currently in Coryell County, 18 children are available for adoption. At any given time, more than 100 children were in foster care this year with 89 children removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect. Moody said competent foster and adoptive parents are needed to help those children.
“Whether it be temporary or permanent, we need people to open their homes and their hearts to give children stability, support and lead by example to show that there are caring, loving adults that will help them grow and achieve goals in becoming productive adults in the future,” Moody said. “It’s about giving a child hope.”
The process to become a licensed foster or adoptive parent is not easy, Moody said. It can take more than six months to complete the necessary home study, training and background checks, and then more time waiting for a child.
Today, the Myers drive a 15-passenger van to carry the family from place to place. They are often mistaken for a church group. When asked, Kristina Myers tells people they are the Rainbow Family.
“Don’t have to look like you or be from you. They come from your heart,” Kristina Myers said. “A kid is a kid.”