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Four brothers are now able to grow up together after two neighbors made the decision to adopt the boys to avoid splitting them apart.

In a heartwarming story shared on Good Morning America, Julie Washington explained how her family dynamic changed when she and her husband — already parents to two girls — decided to adopt Michael, Jess, and Camden into their lives forever. But it was when Washington found out the three boys had a 17-month-old brother, Elijah, that the challenge to make sure the boys grew up together came to be.

Washington knew she couldn’t take Elijah out of the system; in addition to raising five children with her husband, one of their adoptive sons has cerebral palsy. That’s when she called her friend and neighbor Jay Houston to step in.

“Our house didn’t even cross my mind, initially,” Houston told GMA. 

“If we didn’t adopt him, he would be over 1,000 miles away,” Washington said.

“I called Julie back and I said ‘no matter what we would make sure they were family and that they knew they were family.”

Houston, also an adoptee who has four adopted children, went through the process of giving Elijah a forever home.

“I have not given them a gift, they have given us a gift,” Houston told GMA.

Now the four boys, who spent years in foster care, live in loving southern Georgia homes just steps away from each other.

Watch their story above.



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These Four Brothers Were Adopted By Two Families So They Could Grow Up Together  was originally published on