Thanksgiving is all about spending time with family, but how we define that family is up to us.
Crystal, Sarabi and Tiana were among the half million American children living in foster care, until they became permanent members of a very special local family.
Sarah and Oliver Reed always wanted a big family. They definitely got their wish. Over the years they've brought 25 foster children into their home and they didn't stop there.
"Once the kids are in your home, you fall in love with them and you feel sad to see them go somewhere else so then we started discussing adoption," says Sarah Reed.
They didn't adopt all 25 children, mostly because most of them weren't available for adoption. They took guardianship of one girl and adopted three more.
Sarah's husband Oliver says, "We didn't intend to go this far but just like we say again, as the kids stay in your home and you get attached to them and they get attached to you, hey, it just happens."
The Reeds had one biological son before they started their fostering frenzy. He says his sisters have brought great joy to the family.
"It's really kind of a reversal of roles in terms of being able to share love and that's really what it's all about," says Oliver Reed Jr.
This Thanksgiving, the Reeds have many reasons to be grateful to be together.
Says Sarah, "I am very thankful for the foster children and the adopted children because when I look at them, I think about where would they be if we had not stepped forward to do what we are doing today."
And the girls definitely appreciate what their parents are doing.
"It's really really fine because I have adopted parents and godparents," says five-year old Crystal.
"They care about me and that makes me happy," says ten-year old Sarabi.
They're women of few words, but their message of thanksgiving is clear.
The Reeds say they plan to bring home more foster children in the future. They say there are many more children out there who their help.
If you want to reach out to some of those children, contact the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services at http://www.state.il.us/dcfs/index.shtml.