SPRING LAKE, Mich. - — Nestled near downtown Spring Lake, Julie Mausolf says her family’s home could be anywhere.
All that matters is that she and her husband, Josh, are surrounded by their four children.
“Our home is wherever they are,” said Julie Mausolf.
The couple started their family in 2013 when they became foster parents. At first, they hoped to provide a stable, loving environment for kids in a system that aims to reunite them with their families.
Within seven months though, the Mausolf’s oldest child and first placement, Scarlett, 8, was adopted.
“You go into it feeling like, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen,’” said Julie Mausolf. “Did we hope that we grew a family from this? Absolutely, but we didn’t expect it.”
From there, Julian, 6, and Miller, 5, joined the family.
On Tuesday, the adoption for their youngest, Sienna, will be finalized during an Adoption Day ceremony at Ottawa County’s 20th Circuit Court.
“There are times that are super stressful,” said Julie Mausolf. “You want to do what’s best for your kids always.”
“You never realize how patient you have to be and how many different things you can do at once when you have especially multiples,” added Josh Mausolf.
In 2021, more than 1,600 Michigan children were adopted through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services or private agencies.
At any given time, the state’s foster care system includes 11,000 children. Nearly 200 lack an adoptive family.
The Mausolf’s encourage people to fill that need.
“You have to take that risk,” said Josh Mausolf. “You’re helping people out.”
While each child brought different challenges, lessons, and a range of emotions, they say their children allowed them to build a home.
“They have, we’re hoping anyway, they have everything they could ever dream of,” said Julie Mausolf. “They have a chance to live a good life and to be the center of attention.”
“We were given a chance with them too,” said Josh Mausolf.
To watch Tuesday’s National Adoption Day ceremony in Ottawa County, click here.
For more on adoption resources in Michigan, click here.