(Meredith) -- Christmas came early for seven siblings in Arkansas, who were adopted after being in the state's foster care system for nearly three years.
Terri and Michael Hawthorn, of Hot Springs, gave all seven children -- ages 8 to 15 -- a place they could call home.
The Hawthorns became foster parents several years ago, but the couple didn't think they would ever adopt.
“Our first words were, ‘Ok we’ll do it for a couple of years, but we will not adopt,’” said Terri Hawthorn in an interview with THV11.
That all changed in April when the couple adopted two siblings, Korgen and Haizlee. Then, on Dec. 3, a judge approved their request to adopt seven other siblings.
Michael Hawthorn shared the good news on Facebook: "Today it is official, these 7 siblings changed their last name to Hawthorn."
It was a dream come true for the children, who would at times sleep on the floor or go to bed hungry.
"The only times we got to eat is when our neighbors would sneak us a bag of chips,” said Kyndal Hawthorn. "We didn't have a can opener, and they'd give us the cans that we didn't know how to open. So, sometimes we just didn’t eat.”
Now, they look forward to a life filled with love, and their adoptive parents are happy to provide it.
“Every day these kids wake up and they are giggling and they are happy, and you see the smiles on their faces. That’s what makes this worth it," said Terri.