ROUND O, S.C. (WCBD) – A Colleton County family is counting to grow. The Wiles-Wilkins family of Round O adopted a ninth child giving them 16 total between step children, foster children and their adoptive children. The family was honored Friday by the Department of Social Services (DSS).
“We’re surprised and honored,” says Melissa Wiles-Wiggins.
“It’s overwhelming for us, just the kindness and all the people that was involved in it,” says her husband James Wiggins. “For the kids, they loved it and they had a ball with it.”
The Wiles-Wilkins family was named the Lowcountry’s adoptive family of the year on Friday as they adopted their 9th child. All of the family’s adoptive children are between the ages of 4 and 17. Wiggins says it’s an opportunity to give to children in need.
“There’s so many people out there, so many kids that – they don’t have homes, they don’t have love,” says Wiggins. “Sometimes families are rough just like families are families.”
The family was honored with a parade of family and friends, the Walterboro Sheriff’s Office, Colleton County Fire Rescue and members from DSS. The family was given gifts and a proclamation from Walterboro’s Mayor, William Young, for their efforts to help Lowcountry children in need.
Melissa Wiles-Wiggins says it’s something more families across the Lowcountry and state should consider if they have the ability.
“Absolutely try to foster,” says Wiles-Wiggins. “I think there’s a huge shortage for people. There’s lots of kids out there who need foster parents and there’s not enough homes.”
DSS says it’s seeing crucial problem across the State of South Carolina with more children in need of homes than families who are willing to take them in.
“Often times these children come in, they’re abused and neglected – they’re broken,” says Angela Holmes with DSS.
Holmes says offering a home and family provides more than just a place for the children to go but a path for them to find their way.
“They kind of help to rebuild what’s been broken and torn down and there’s a need for us to continue to just recruit and get families to just take that leap,” says Holmes.
The family welcoming their 9th adopted child for 16 total kids. As for what’s next for the Wiles-Wiggins, take one guess.
“Cheers to more! I’m just joking,” says Wiles Wiggins.
If you’re interested in becoming an adoptive family, DSS says you can reach out by phone at 888-828-3555 or visit their website here.