OPINION COLUMNS

Justin crew showed the beauty of family

By David Talley | Published Saturday, December 31, 2016
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Squad Goals

SQUAD GOALS – All nine Capener kids get some playtime in before dinner. Pictured are (from left, top row) Suri, Jamie, Koralie, Lane, (bottom row) KC, Mason, Jon and JR, with Adi on the couch. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Sitting at the Capener family dinner table at their home in Justin, it’s hard not to smile.

During the time I spent with the family of 11, setting for up a few photos and listening as parents Bill and Mollie shared the unique timeline of events that led to their situation and what it’s like living with nine children, one thing was evident – these are happy people.

“I was a single mother of two,” Mollie told me. “[Bill] was a single father of one. We got married and had two more.”

In the following years, the family watched through social media as Bill’s aunt in Pennsylvania made several costly decisions regarding her own four children, eventually leading to circumstances where Bill felt compelled to adopt them as well.

“I couldn’t deal with it,” Bill said. “I’d only met the oldest boy. But the thought of family being lost to the state because nobody wanted to step up, I thought, ‘That’s not going to happen.'”

Talking with Bill and Mollie, it struck me that as a 23-year-old, I’m not that much younger than the two, but I wouldn’t trust myself to take care of a pet, much less any number of human children. But here they were, facing the daily challenges of family life head on, because to them, the challenges make life worthwhile.

“If I fail at everything at life and at least they graduate and make something of themselves, I’ve got that one accomplishment forever,” Bill said. “If I had the opportunity to do it, I’d do it every single time.”

The story was an inspiring look at how the love families have for each other wins, regardless of the circumstances.

As a reporter, I’ve had the opportunity to ride along with different professionals during their job, from off-road vehicle racers to Decatur firefighters escorting Santa Claus around Decatur. What I still wish I’d asked for was a chance to ride along in the Capeners’ van as they took their kids to school. The discipline required to get the the group ready for dinner was impressive enough, I can’t imagine what a day in the life looks like.

David Talley is a Messenger reporter.

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