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'It has been a different challenge' | Adoptive family pushing through together after difficult diagnosis

Juan and Meg Reyes adopted three siblings and gave them a forever home. The family is leaning on one another as Juan battles ALS.

SAN ANTONIO — Juan and Meg Reyes had one biological child but their hearts were always open for adoption, so in 2011 they began that journey. 

"We were looking through profiles and there was a sibling group of three," said Meg.

"We kept going back to this group of kids, and they just kept calling to us," she continued. "It was a challenge to initially take on three children only because we went from a family of three to a family of six. It was a hard transition for them, I mean, think about it? They went from a birth family, to a foster family to kind of feeling like, 'Am I going to be able to be here? Am I going to be able to trust you? Are you going to be the family that will take care of us?'"

Meg's husband, Juan, remembers the family adoption day fondly. 

"It was one of the most amazing days when the judge banged the gavel in the courtroom and declared that the children were ours," he said.

Credit: Juan Reyes

But about three and half years later the family was dealt a difficult medical setback. Juan was diagnosed with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. 

"We didn't choose to hide it," Meg said. "We just brought them all down and told them. It has been a different challenge and a growth experience for everybody."

For the three adopted children, Anthony, Kristen and John, nothing with the love bond has changed from day one. Dad is still dad. 

"My love for him hasn't changed even though he has the condition," said John. "He's still my dad." 

Kristen offered this perspective. 

"I'm understanding that is just life. Bad things happen, and there may be no reason, but you just have to push past it together. That is family."

Credit: Juan Reyes

 Juan says he can't remember not having the children in their lives, and the children seem as 'home' as ever. 

"I don't remember much of what happened in my older houses, but I know this is a big improvement, and I guess I'm lucky to have all the things that I do," John said. 

"I find them to be my number one fans," said Kristen. 

"The feeling of having this forever home is definitely more comforting," said oldest adopted sibling Anthony.

And understanding that Juan can't communicate as well as most of us, his response to the love he feels for his children, spoke volumes. Juan started crying and was unable to answer, but I think that was definitely an answer worth the weight of gold. 

He later offered some touching thoughts. 

"There are so many children in need of families and a home. It's not easy, but it is oh so worth it," he said. 

We send our well wishes to Juan, Meg and the children as they continue to live their lives to the fullest.

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