(11/19/12) - A growing trend shows more relatives stepping in to adopt children they see suffering.
As we observe National Adoption Day, a retired Clio couple hopes their example will inspire others.
"I stepped up to the plate because I didn't want to see the children split up, and you never know where they're going to be," said Wayne Montague, who adopted three of his grandchildren.
Wayne and Pat Montague are retired and living in a four-bedroom home in Clio. Like most couples their age, they enjoy their grandchildren - all 17 of them.
But three of them -15-year-old Anthony, 12-year-old Miranda, and 11-year-old Lara - really changed their lives.
"At my age, I certainly didn't think that were going to start raising children all over again," Wayne said.
The Montagues say it hurt to watch their grand kids suffering.
"Her and I laid awake a lot at night," Wayne said. "Worrying, 'where are the kids today?' 'Are they being taken care of properly?'"
So 15 years into their marriage - the second one for both - Pat and Wayne made a big decision and started the adoption process.
Two years later, that process is complete and there are no regrets.
"As long as I'm breathing, those children will be with me. Makes us be more outgoing instead of sitting home in a recliner. You get out and do things to stay active, so it is a blessing in disguise," Wayne said.
About 13,000 Michigan children live in foster care. Wayne says he hopes National Adoption Day will inspire others to step in and help.
"Whether it be your grandchildren or a niece or a nephew or what ever the case may be, don't hesitate. Even the Bible says, 'He who hesitates is lost.' Jump in and go for it. That's what I say. It will be the best move that you ever made," Wayne said.
If you've thought about opening up your heart and home to a child who needs it, you can get all the information you need at an ice cream social on National Adoption Day on Tuesday. It runs from 4-6 p.m. at the Alternatives For Children and Families Center on Center Road in Burton.
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