Boy Adopted by Family in Same Neighborhood as His Biological Siblings

PHOTO: Elijah photographed with his three older brothers, Michael, 6, Jess, 5, and Camden, 3 on March 4.Courtesy Jay Houston
Elijah photographed with his three older brothers, Michael, 6, Jess, 5, and Camden, 3 on March 4.

After living in foster care for 389 days, a little boy has found a forever family who lives just minutes away from his three biological siblings.

Jay Houston, 31, who lives in southern Georgia, told ABC News that she adopted 17-month-old Elijah immediately after her friend, Julie Washington, adopted his three older brothers.

"They all know they're brothers and get to grow up together," Houston said. "They don't live in same house but live in same town. ... Knowing I get to be his mom forever, it's an awesome gift and I'm really thankful for it."

PHOTO: Jay Houston, 31, and her husband George adopted Elijah after he was in foster care for 389 days.Courtesy Jay Houston
Jay Houston, 31, and her husband George adopted Elijah after he was in foster care for 389 days.

Houston, now a mom of six, including Elijah, said she took Elijah into foster care on Sept. 15 -- six months before his March 4 adoption was finalized.

She and her husband George have four adopted children, including Elijah, and two biological children.

"I'm the youngest of seven kids and I was adopted," Houston said. "Growing up, that's always something I wanted to do."

"It was immediate," she added of adopting Elijah. "His former foster mom sent us video of him laughing, smiling, crawling and I knew he'd fit right in."

Houston said she went through the state Children's Protective Services to adopt Elijah.

The foster mom before her took in Elijah and his three siblings, according to Houston.

Elijah was adopted by the Houstons after 389 days in foster care and the three others were adopted by the Washingtons after 1,290 days, Houston said.

On the day of his adoption, Houston photographed Elijah, along with his siblings, Michael, 6, Jess, 5, and Camden, 3, in celebration of all four boys finding homes.

PHOTO: Elijah, 17 months, was adopted on March 4, immediately after his three older siblings.Courtesy Jay Houston
Elijah, 17 months, was adopted on March 4, immediately after his three older siblings.

"Kids in foster care come with such a negative stigma attached to them," Houston said. "These kids are kids and they just need love and I can't explain how much these kids have changed my life. My husband and I are the lucky ones."

Julie Washington, who adopted Elijah's three brothers, said she immediately thought of Houston when she heard that Elijah needed a family.

"When I found out about Elijah we were still in the process of bringing our boys home," she said. "We went from having two to five kids and one has special needs. We weren't sure if we were able to take in another child. I knew how important it was to [Houston] to keep siblings together. They said they were open to have another child and we made a pact to keep them together so it kind of just fell into place."

The photos of Elijah being reunited with his brothers have received thousands of likes on Houston's Facebook page.

Houston said she hopes Elijah's story encourages more aspiring parents to adopt foster children.

The state Children's Protective Services did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

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