LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio — November is National Adoption Awareness Month. One of the important focuses of this month has been making sure kids in foster care get adopted.
One Lucas County family has been big fans of what the awareness campaign stands for, since their family has grown to 18 people.
While the Mobus household, having fostered and adopted 15 kids isn't the norm, it is one family that Lucas County Children Services has been proud of.
The department's Foster Care and Adoption Recruitment Supervisor Sherry Dunn explained countywide, there are between 50 to 75 adoption cases, but nearly 800 children in foster care.
Currently, the county only has about 211 foster families that can help these children. Dunn admitted while it would be ideal in a perfect world to have nearly 800 foster families, she'd settle for 300 at the moment.
"We have the system raising children, and that's not what we want. Families should be raising children," Dunn said.
So when Dunn had met mom of 16, Sheila Mobus, she was glad to hear her family's story.
"We love kids and we would probably take more if we could. We just love kids," said Mobus.
There are currently 10 young children under 10 years old living in the Mobus household. Though some can't imagine all there is with so many little ones, the kids actually love it.
10-year-old Olivia Mobus wouldn't have it any other way.
"It's all fun to play with," Olivia admitted.
Olivia added that she wants more siblings and Mobus noted that if there was room, she'd definitely be thinking about it.
Mobus explained that about five years ago, she and her husband only had their 13-year-old son. But after fostering a couple of kids, which they ended up adopting, the couple didn't stop; which eventually turned into 15 kids total.
Currently, the eldest five children have moved out of the house and started lives of their own. Mobus said that's what prompted her to keep fostering and adopting.
"Knowing that we raised them to do that makes it worth it," Mobus said. "So, why not mold some little kids that need that?"
Granted, the fostering process isn't always easy and in some cases, the kids go back to their birth families or move to different homes.
Both Dunn and Mobus agree that when a foster child leaves your care, given the bond you've grown with that child, watching them leave can be heartbreaking.
"It's not about you, it's about the kid. So you're doing what is in their best interest and if you always have that in the back of your mind, you're still going to be heartbroken. It doesn't make it any easier. It just makes it worth it," Mobus explained.
Dunn admitted that hearing that made her smile.
"That's what really touches me and really got me because it is all about the kids," Dunn said.
While the county numbers are high, according to Ohio Foster, Adoption and Kinship Care, "nearly 16,000 children are being cared for away from their parents. More than 9,200 of them are living with foster parents. The rest of them are in residential care or another placement setting."
Looking at those numbers, Dunn said having the conversation around November Adoption Awareness Month is very important.
"I think when we don't, people think it's okay. And it's not. There are a lot of kids out there waiting for permanent homes," Dunn said.
"They're not in the situation because of them. They're in the situation because of the adults in their life and it's not fair to them. So, help them any way you can," Mobus added.
Mobus explained that one of the best ways to help a child feel welcome in your home is to treat them with love every minute you can. It's also a good idea to embrace the chaos, whether you have one or several kids.
9-year-old Travis Mobus agreed.
"I got a lot of kids to play with and whenever one stops playing I can play with another," Travis shared.
Never running out of playmates, there's always noisy fun in the house.
For more information on becoming a foster parent in Lucas County, click here. Or call 419-213-3336 to speak with someone directly.
If you're looking for foster information in general for the state of Ohio, click here.