The Short of It
Four brothers who were up for adoption find forever families in the homes of two friends.
The Washingtons decided to adopt brothers Michael, 6; Jess, 5, who has cerebral palsy; and Camden, 4. They already had two daughters and knew that going from two, to five kids would be a challenge, especially given one of their sons has special needs.
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But as Julie Washington explained to Good Morning America, they would soon learn the boys had a baby brother, Elijah.
"Somebody was going to suffer," she says about the prospect of adopting a fourth child. "If we didn't adopt him, he would be over a thousand miles away."
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That's when she turned to her friend, Jay Houston, to see if she would be willing to adopt him. She agreed and promised to make sure the brothers would always grow up knowing they were family.
"He just lights up," Houston explains about her son's reaction to being around his siblings.
The two families coordinated a photo shoot of the boys holding a chalkboard that shows how long they were in foster care before getting adopted: a total of 1,290 days. It's a powerful image.
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But my favorite shot is of the brothers holding a sign declaring, "We get to grow up together." And it's all thanks to two selfless families, who actually say the boys have given them a gift and not the other way around.