House full of holiday joy: Couple adopts 8 children, fosters 3

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 4:28 PM EST
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (WDAY) – The holidays are a busy time for a lot of families, filled with hours of joy that can also be chaotic at times.

But if you think it’s noisy in your house, chances are a couple in North Dakota can give you a run for your money.

They have eight children – all adopted.

Not only does Dawn Herford have a daycare, but her home has also become a secure, safe sanctuary for foster children who have now become family through adoption.

When Dawn and Erik Herford married 14 years ago, they tried to have children, but medical issues prevented it from happening.

“We went down the IVF road, and it just scared me; it was scary. It was emotional and stressful,” Dawn Herford said.

So, in the early 2000s, the Herfords started fostering children of all ages, and soon they started adopting.

Now, along the mantle are stockings for Hannah, Leighton, Ben, Kayden, Isabelle, Jaxsen, Blayke and Tatum.

“Once we got one and more siblings started coming along, we felt that they needed to stay together. So it snowballed into eight, which is great. I love every one of them to death. They are just a lot of fun,” Erik Herford said.

Days are now spent running to school, sports and doctor visits. The kids are thriving, despite the roadblocks they have faced from day one.

“Most of our kids were pre-disposed to some sort of drugs in their system. We had one that was also abuse-related, but they are all different, all unique. They all come with their own quirks and needs and wants; you just do it,” Dawn Herford said.

You might find a dust-ball or color crayon mark on a wall, but you will find a house full of hearts.

The couple is now putting eight adopted children to bed each night, in addition to three foster children who are also in their care.