MESA, Ariz. - While many families are adjusting to smaller Thanksgiving celebrations in 2020 as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, others are celebrating new additions.
In particular, one family in Mesa is welcoming three new members -- two girls and a boy -- whose adoptions were finalized earlier in November. Nov. 26 marked the first Thanksgiving for the bigger Good Bear family, now five members strong.
"Now they’re my parents, and it feels really good because then I get to spend time with my whole family," said 9-year-old Lexi Good Bear.
Lexi, along with 5-year-old Shane and 3-year-old Kylee, entered the foster care system in 2019. That’s the year Stephan and Chelsea decided to look into adoption, after struggling with infertility for a decade.
"Really emotional to finally have a family, to finally have kids we can call our own," said Chelsea.
Initially, only the younger two siblings were placed with the Good Bears, and later, they realized they had an older sister.
"When we found out about her, there was really no iffy or anything like that. We needed her. They all have to stay together. Siblings need to be together," said Chelsea.
The new family has been bonding over popcorn and movies in their living room.
"I like to watch Avengers," said Stephan.
"And I like to watch Anna and Elsa," said Kylee.
The Good Bears suddenly went from an empty nest to a family of five. and they say they wouldn’t have it any other way. These siblings could have been separated, and this couple was uncertain if they’d ever become parents. Now, they all are grateful for answered prayers.
In Maricopa County, the Superior Court has continued performing adoptions throughout the pandemic. Since April, nearly 1,300 kids have found new families.