You may still be recovering from Sunday night's emotional episode of "This Is Us." The NBC show has captured a lot of hearts with it's very real and honest storylines, including ones about foster care and adoption. And one local family who's living it, says it's the one show that's gotten it right.
Stephanie and Jermaine Allen had three biological children of their own when they took in their nephew Corey. He was 9 months old. Just a few months later, they found out about three siblings who had been abused and were going to be separated if they couldn't find a foster family, so the Allen stepped-up once again.
"We sat our kids down and said you know we have the opportunity to help other people," Stephanie Allen said. "And we decided as a family it was the right thing to do. We've been through the ringer trying to heal the children we brought into our home, and I think they're on a good path. We're not rich. We can't give money. But we can give our space and our time and our love, so it was a no-brainer. I get so much joy in being a mom."
"I knew deep down in my heart that it was the right thing to do," Jermaine says. "Give them a fighting chance. Open our hearts and our home. They showed us how to love."
After three years, they formally adopted their foster children. But there's more -- Stephanie found out she was pregnant again. Their youngest daughter was born, completing their family of 10. And love radiates from all of them.
"It's hard work," Stephanie admits. "I won't lie and say it's not hard work, but these children's lives are worth it."
"I would do anything for each one of these kids," Jermaine says.
The Allens hope their family story, and more positive stories about fostering and adoption like on "This Is Us" will lead to more kids in need getting loving homes.
"Changing a child's life is so worth it," Stephanie says. "It does my heart good to see them portraying adoptive families and foster families in such a great light on a popular show on television, because all too often you see foster/adoptive kids depicted as trouble. My kids aren't trouble. They aren't responsible for the circumstances they were born into."