The Torppey family was already big, with two parents and now six grown kids. But when Wade and Michelle found out about a group of siblings in need in the Ukraine, they knew they had to help. The couple welcomed in seven more kids and now their life is a whole lot bigger.
Wade and Michelle Torppey were called to action when they heard about seven siblings in the Ukraine who had lost both their parents in two years. They were living in an orphanage when the Toppeys learned their story through a program at their church. Wade knew they could step up to this challenge.
“If there’s one thing we think we can do well, and other people have told us we do well, that would be being parents,” Wade told the Morristown Daily Record. “I would like to think that’s a gift we have that God gave us, and he’s asking us to do it a little longer than we planned.”
Added Michelle: “Most people, when we say we adopted seven, they already knew we had six, so they assume we adopted one more. When they hear seven plus six, they go, ‘What?’ We get a lot of that… The mood of the house is often chaotic, but full of love and laughter.”
So, after a several visits to meet the siblings and a delay due to the pandemic, the Torppey family finally grew by seven this past July. Olena, 17, Leeza, 14, Slavik, 12, Alina, 11, Anhelina, 9, Senya, 8, and Jenya, 6, now call New Jersey home. And the home has changed quite a bit to accommodate them.
They’re making it work!
Wade, who is an ironworker, got down to business and converted several bedrooms to make them suitable for more people. He built lofts and extra closets, and the family counted on the sacrifice of their youngest biological daughter, 15-year-old Zoey, to make it work.
“When our oldest moved out and got married, Zoey had probably had the largest bedroom,” Wade told the Record. “She gave it up for the three little boys. She is the sweetest young lady, so selfless, gave it up without thinking twice.”
Zoey isn’t the only one who stepped up. Two of the Torppey’s oldest kids learned Ukranian and Russian to communicate with their new siblings. Still, the family has to turn to alternative methods sometimes to make it all work.
“If anyone asks what the primary language in the house is now, I say charades,” Michelle said. “When all else fails, there’s Google Translate on the phone.”
If you’d like to donate to the Torppey kids’ education, find more information at this GoFundMe.