EAST NEW YORK, Brooklyn -- Inside their sparse East New York apartment there is an abundance of love and sharing among the Westbrooks, mom Kim and her five adopted foster children. " It wasn't planned that way, it happened that way, " Westbrooks said.
Over the course of 17 years, Ms. Westbrooks kept a family in crisis intact by adopting first, Roberto, then his sister Brianna, later adopting little brother Tyler, a few years later, sister August and, most recently with help from New York Foundling charity, their baby brother Xavier.
"I couldn't let the other kids go," Westbrooks said. "I didn't want them to be stranded nowhere, so it became my job to keep them all together."
And she did. The five brothers and sisters seem well aware that if not for their adoptive mom, it's unlikely they'd be together this Thanksgiving or ever.
"I'm thankful for my mom, because without her none of this would be possible," said Briana, 16 years old.
"I'm happy she took five kids, I don't know many people who do that, it's really crazy, my mom is amazing," said Roberto, 17 years old.
Ms. Westbrooks kept the siblings together against great odds and she will tell you it's not been easy.
So what have they given her? "Love, they gave me love." Westbrooks said, "I wouldn't feel complete without them."
Rather than broken and living apart, the Westbrooks' siblings are complete, together, and thankful.
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Thanksgiving with 5 adopted siblings & mom who kept them together