Joe and Nancy are the parents of nineteen children. They have three biological children and sixteen internationally adopted children. Together they make up The Kayes family.
“We still go to parent-teach meetings,” says Nancy. “We still climb into bleachers alongside the soccer field to cheer our kids on the field,” chuckles Joe. There aren’t many grandparents out there who still have kids in primary school, but then again, this isn’t your average family. For the Kayes, being average was never a goal. Being a loving and supporting family for their nineteen children, was and is their goal as parents.
The Kayes family is composed of children from India, Korea, Hong Kong and Bulgaria. Aside from language barriers with some older adoptions, many of these children also have a range of physical challenges. Matt Kayes was adopted and has ambulatory motion that is limited to his wheelchair. Matt also communicates with the help of a computer that does the talking for him, yet he has a smile that can light up any room. Mark Kayes was adopted from Hong Kong and can open a snack bar with his toes. Not because it’s fun, but because it’s a necessity. You see, Mark was born without arms, so his feet now serve as his hands. Other children have Cerebral Palsy or Spina Bifida. These are just a few examples of the many, amazing challenges and hurdles this family has overcome.
Joe and Nancy are very grateful for the medical knowledge and support available at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s International Adoption Center. Founded and run by Dr. Mary Staat, (who is also a mother of internationally adopted children), Dr. Staat says the pre and post medical assistance provided to families adopting internationally is in high demand. The International Adoption Center in Cincinnati, OH is one of only twelve centers in the nation. The Kayes have teamed up with Dr. Staat for each one of their international adoptions.
Watch the full episode above.
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