It takes a village to raise a child. Foster mom Carol Barnett is well aware of that fact as she’s been raising five children.
She’s fostered four through the state’s kinship program, and her young grandson lives with her as well.
"I kept pushing them and they kept pushing me and they like, 'we can get through this,'” said Barnett.
Thursday, in Courtroom A at the Marion Sweatt Courthouse in Travis County, it was a celebration of a family coming together -- legally.
"My son, Justin, my daughter Deamber and my other daughter Victoria," Barnett said.
Barnett adopted the three children.
"So they are yours, and you are theirs forever and ever and ever, the adoption is granted,” the judge explained.
Barnett told KVUE it's been a long road to get here.
"We had been - you know - trying to just make it,” said Barnett. “Kids been through a lot of stuff."
Marci Chandler and Brooke Paluch, with the Austin Angels Love Box program, helped raise $25,000 toward a new home for Barnett and her family.
"She took these kids in on her own and provided for them on her own, and when it came time to adopt these kids, unfortunately, it was just the four walls around her. That was the red tape,” said Chandler. "Everything she's gone through to get to this point, it just resonated with me."
"I know they're safe now, they don't have to live from here and there," said Barnett.
"I think for these kids... just having closure knowing that nothing can take them away and knowing that forever - even after they're 18 - they have family,” said Hannah Crow with Austin Angels. "They know, they know that there's a difference."
While the other children were shy to talk to the camera Tuesday, Chloe, who Barnett already cares for as part of the conservatorship program, told KVUE she's happy to expand the family.
"Today means to me that Justin, Deamber and Victoria are my brothers and sister, and I'm so happy with them to be adopted,” said Chloe. "We’ve been through a lot of things."
"Just to be able to be here and participate in the adoption and to get to see these kids and this mom become a family, that's just been the most exciting part,” said Chandler.
Barnett said she’s seen a change in the children since they’ve been with her.
"Since they've been with me, I've seen a whole lot of changes, they're more calm, they're more like you know they have a safe place, we go places together as a family,” said Barnett. "They have more love now, and they know that they important, so you know it's like we support each other."
While the family hopes to move into their new home in the next few weeks, for now, they're just ready to make ever-lasting memories as a family.
If you still want to donate money towards getting Barnett a new house, you can donate here.