Mom Of 3 Adopts Friends' 6 Kids After She Passed Away From Cancer
This is more than friendship, this is pure love. Stephanie Culley of Alton, Virginia was overjoyed when the courts awarded her custody of her friends' six children. Stephanie's friend Beth Laitkep died from breast cancer on May 19 at the age of 39; it was her dying wish the Stephanie adopted her children.
"She said, 'I know you will do this for me, but can you raise nine kids? Can you take my babies, all of them and keep them together?'" Stephanie recalled. "I said, 'I don't know. I have to pray about this, I have to talk to my husband about this. We discussed it as a family and my kids were the first to say yes. They had gotten really close with [Beth's] kids. My husband was like a deer in headlights, but he knew that this was what we had to do."
On April 13, Beth was informed that her cancer had spread. This is when they had temporary custody papers drawn up before an official hearing was scheduled. On July 19, Stephanie and her husband Donnie gained full custody of Beth's six children, Will, 15, Selena, 14, Jaxson, 12, Dallas, 10, Lily, 5, and Ace, 2. Along with the couple's three children, Cole, 10, Hayden, 6 and Calen, 2, they now have nine all together. They are all happy and healthy; and Stephanie keeps Beth's memory alive by telling all the kids wonderful stories about her!