Jeff and Wendy Shupe from Virginia, discovered last September that their daughter, Avery, who they’d adopted almost five years ago, had a sister still living in her birth country. The decision to adopt Brianna was almost immediate.
Jeff said, “We didn’t even know she had a sister … And I said, man, we can’t leave that baby over there. We’ve got to go pick her up.”
Both Jeff and Wendy had three children before they got married. Wendy described their family as the “Brady Bunch.” Later, they adopted two special needs children, Avery and Caden, from Eastern Europe. They thought their family of ten was complete, but that was before they realized that their daughter’s sister was still out there, waiting for a home.
Both Jeff and Wendy are teachers, and they decided spend their spring break getting to know Brianna.
Three-year-old Brianna is a lot like her older sister. Wendy said, “It kind of took my breath away when they brought her into the room.” Both Avery and Brianna have dwarfism, which makes them a lot smaller than other children their age. They share a lot of other traits too, including wide, brown eyes, and they even have similar mannerisms.
“She was very quiet and a little shy at first. But she finally let us hold her,” Wendy said. Brianna might not understand English, but the Shupes believe that she can feel their love for her.
“She cried after day three when when we were getting ready to leave. She didn’t want us to leave,” Jeff said. It was heartbreaking to leave her at the orphanage.
Jeff and Wendy hope that they can Brianna back with them by the end of the summer.
You can watch the video of their interview here.