GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – It's a special date - March 27, 2017, it's the day the papers were signed, the adoptions were finalized, and the Nelson family grew by five.

Adoption wasn’t always the plan for John and Holly Nelson, who have three kids of their own. They were ready to be empty-nesters, until they started babysitting for a foster family they knew back in 2014.

“As soon as they walked in the door, we knew they were going to be foster parents. We had decided at that point that this is what we wanted to do,” said Holly.

The children - Lele, Tyrone, Tylesha, Jeremiah and Makayla - all have the same biological mother. They had been in foster care for over 1,000 days, and lived in a combination of five different home before coming to the Nelson’s.

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“They’ve had a lot of losses, but we felt it’s really important that they have each other. And that’s a huge gain of being able to keep them together,” Holly said.

Through the help of an adoption agency, Children’s Hope Alliance, John and Holly got the waivers approved to keep all the siblings together. The Nelsons say it takes a little work on the state’s part to keep that many children in one home – but that they do work to place siblings under one roof.

Holly says adoption changes the dynamic – but opens so many doors for the family to bond and grow together.

“When they’re in foster care you don’t make the decisions you still have to run everything through the foster care social workers, through the agency workers, through the adoption workers,” she said, “So when they’re yours – they’re yours. You get to parent them and love them and be mom and dad and do all the things for them that you would do for your regular children.”