SWEETWATER, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – More children are up for adoption in the Abilene region than the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has seen since at least 2013. Now, one Sweetwater family is sharing their story of adopting seven children and raising many more to encourage others. 

“I’d like to think they made me a whole lot better dad than what I was, and a better husband,” said James Wilson, the father of this large family. 

James and his wife, Regina, had two biological children in their 20’s, thinking their family was complete, but their lives took a major turn. 

“We have two that are biological and we’ve adopted two, taken legal guardianship of two, and we’ve raised two and they came with newborn babies,” Regina Wilson explained. 

Since they were foster parents, they have had more than 100 children in and out of their home. 

“We would get up and our floor would be wall to wall kids… and I chose it to be that way,” Regina Wilson shared. 

The couple did not plan to foster until one of their neighbors asked them to take some children in and she said once they took the kids, “that was it. Once you’re in the system, they just call you and call you.” 

The Wilsons said this big family is what they are most proud of in life. 

The Communications and Grants Director for New Horizons, Hannah Wiginton, said even though the employees do not know this family, they are seeing a large need in foster families and those who are willing to adopt like the Wilsons. 

“There is a really big need right now for families to take kids who are about eight years old,” Wiginton expressed. “Foster families in general are rare.” 

Wiginton directed KTAB/KRBC to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for some data. The website shows that in the Abilene region, 275 children were waiting on adoption in 2022, and the numbers from the previous years are all lower. The earliest year seen on the database, 2013, shows there were only 124. 

“You can see the changes and that there is a huge need for kids who need a home,” explained Wiginton. 

That is why the Wilsons dedicated their lives to helping those that have lost their family. 

“Because you get more rewards than they do. You learn so much,” shared Regina Wilson. 

If you are interested in adopting or fostering, go to New Horizons ‘Be a Foster Parent’ page to learn more and contact the organization.