Tags: couple | adopts | blind | children

Couple Adopts 6 Blind Kids, Launches Foundation for Special Needs

(YouTube/Inside Edition)

By    |   Monday, 16 July 2018 11:44 AM

A Virginia couple adopted six blind kids from around the world after struggling to conceive and has gone on to create a foundation for adults with special needs.

Joe Bartling and his wife Karen live in Oakton with their six children, Hannah, 23, David, 18, Bethany, 18, Jesse, 17, Abi, 17 and Obed, 12, CBS 8 reported.

The family has a YouTube channel, SixBlindKids, and recently was featured in a YouTube video posted by Special Books by Special Kids.

The couple had always dreamt about having a big family but battled to conceive after bringing their first biological son into the world.

They turned their attention to adoption and came across Hannah, who had been born without eyes in South Korea and abandoned in an orphanage.

Joe and Karen Bartling did not hesitate to initiate the adoption process and soon the 2-year-old girl was living with them.

"It was a head-scratcher," Karen Bartling recalled of the first few days with Hannah, according to The Daily Mail. "We were like, 'Oh well, that is interesting.' We went to the airport and just picked up this child. She was a precious little baby."

She said it took them a few days to get used to living with Hannah's disability but have not looked back.

Several years later a publication about blind children ended up in Karen and Joe Bartling's malbox.

Inside the leaflet was a picture of Jesse, whose mother abandoned her in a South Korean orphanage, and the couple reached out to adopt her.

"After that, we became the go-to couple for the social workers and the agency when they had a blind child," said Karen Bartling, according to The Daily Mail.

Over the years the family began to grow.

Abi joined the brood after police found her abandoned in a trash can in India with a condition that caused her eyelids to be fused shut and her eyes to be malformed, CBS 8 said.

Next to come along was David, a baby abandoned at a Chinese government building with a birth defect that resulted in the malformation of his eyes.

Then came Obed Josiah, who has cerebral palsy, and Bethany, who was born blind.

"We never imagined this would happen. I never in my wildest dreams imagined we would be in a lifestyle with special needs young adults," Karen Bartling said, according to The Daily Mail. "How many people really do expect what life throws at them?"

The couple are so passionate about caring for children with special needs that they started The Amazing Families Foundation, a nonprofit that strives to provide employment and job training to adults with developmental and physical disabilities.

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A Virginia couple adopted six blind kids from around the world after struggling to conceive and has gone on to create a foundation for adults with special needs.
couple, adopts, blind, children
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2018-44-16
Monday, 16 July 2018 11:44 AM
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