Family of 13 celebrates first holiday after adoption that caught national attention

On a day all about giving and family, one Forest Park family caught the nation’s attention for a gift that changed more than a dozen lives.

Christopher and Christina Sanders completed a two-year journey by adopting six children into their family in April. Thanksgiving marks the first holiday the 13 shared as an official family.

Chris, 20, Coby, 16, Christian, 15, Cameron, 14, Caleb,14, Caden, 13, Caylee, 12, Carson,11, Chaz, 11, Chloe, 9 and Caitlyn, 9 helped their parents set up their big feast.

“They finally feel official. This is their first thanksgiving as Sanders,” their mother, Christina, said.

Like usual, everyone has a role to play.

“They made all of the banana pudding. Caylee made the devil eggs. Christian made the yams. They all helped. They all put their foot in it, as they say,” Christina said.

Even a simple trip to the grocery store is eventful.

“Everyone wants dad’s attention. Everyone wants dad’s time or something from dad,’ Christopher said. “There have been times where we have been at the grocery store and somebody yells dad and wasn’t talking to me. But it is just natural for me to turn and look. I am getting used to answering to dad pretty frequently.”

The Sanderses recently appeared on “The Ellen Show,” where they captured the nation’s heart.

Their household was filled with excitement Thursday. Whether it’s extreme couponing with mom, throwing the football out front or serenading the family with a little jazz, the Sanderses are a team.

The spirit of giving is the norm in their household year-round.

“In the summertime, my wife has popsicles on deck. She sees 20 kids out there in the yard, she goes outside with a box of popsicles and start passing them out. This is normal stuff,” Christopher said.

“My husband is the homework man. He is wonderful at it,” Christina said.

Being thankful is something they feel every day

“The transfer of love is non-stop. We just want to keep this thing going. Just continue to reach people,” Christopher said.

The joy and togetherness of Thanksgiving happens every day in the Sanders household
for 11 very good reasons.

The Sanders family will be heading back to “The Ellen Show” in December.

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