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Sharing the family love

The Groenendyk family at their farm near Oskaloosa.
The Mark and Tammy Groenendyk house is filled with laughter. And hugs.

It’s also filled with coats and boots and chairs and beds and there’s a neat row of bicycles lined up out front.

There are seven children living in the house. Four more have grown and moved into their own homes nearby, one with a daughter of her own.

The number doesn’t matter. There’s plenty of love to go around.

Nine of the Groenendyk children are adopted. Most have special needs. One is from Hawaii. Five are from Bulgaria.

“It’s not always easy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way,” says Mark. “This is our family. And we love every one of them.”

The Groenendyks began their journey nearly 20 years ago. With two small children, they adopted two more. Sabrina and husband Max have six-month-old Hadassah, Mark and Tammy’s first grandchild; Bryant and wife Abbi live five miles away on the family’s Century Farm. Anthony and Ralissa also live in the Oskaloosa area.

Lydia, now age 12, was the next to join the family as a nine-day-old infant. Then came Jesiah, now 13. Trey (12), Tianna (10), Shane (10), Victory (8), and Donovan (8) came ...



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