Wednesday's Child: Meet the Stringer family

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
May 17, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- In a friendly neighborhood in north Tallahassee, toys lay scattered across the yard of the Stringer home. By mid-afternoon, laughter from six kids, all under the age of 10, fills the air, bringing the toys and the home to life.

The Stringers were not always a family of eight. In fact, two and a half years ago, Kenley and Calyn Stringer were feeling the familiar tug of the heart for five beautiful children, all born of the same family.

It takes a full breath to list off every family member.

"Mommy, Daddy, Benjo, Maya, Brittan, Dale, Kiki,” says Eric Stringer.

“Eric, Maya, Brittan, Benjo, Kiki,” lists Dale Stringer.

Each child is unique. Maya loves to swim in the pool. Brittan loves jumping on the trampoline, and Kiki loves to play with little brother “Benjo”.

"All five of them were in foster care together. It was one of those situations where they needed a family that could take all five,” says mom, Calyn Stringer. “We decided to go for it. It was really fast once we made the decision to do so."

The Stringers adopted all five, and then had one son of their own. There’s no doubt that they all love “mommy” and “daddy”.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" we asked Dale. His response, "like my dad."

The Stringer home is a happy one, full of love and laughter, but one that other foster kids are still searching for.

"If we don't, who will? And on several occasions the obvious answer was... if we don't, no one will," says dad, Kenley Stringer.

"I get kind of emotional," says Calyn.

Being a small light in the life of the child, is a message the Stringers hope to foster.

"Incarcerated family members, drug addicted family members, family members involved in prostitution… it transcends from generation to generation,” says Kenley. “It's always our hope that when a child has to be removed, they can be placed in a family where that cycle will be broken, and they'll see a new beautiful life."

"We just want to give them every opportunity to have a life that is full of love, and family, and we want them to know that they're wanted,” says Calyn.

The Stringers are a big family, with a bigger heart to love the ones who need it most.

"They say it takes a village to raise a child,” says Kenley. “I don't know how many villages we need.”