ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The sound of Christmas joy echoed through a small Albuquerquehome Friday where an already big family recently grew by twofold.
“Last Christmas, there were six of us,” said EddieEbel, the father of four of the children. “This Christmasthere's 12 of us.”
“We've grown,” added Eddie’s wife Denise.“And it’s a lot more crowded.”
Last month the Ebels adopted six nieces and nephews fromDenise's sister who was struggling to care for them.
“This was our opportunity to step forward and help thekids,” Ebel said.
That opportunity is also a challenge as the two parents findthemselves caring for 10 kids between the ages of 2 and 12 in theircramped quarters.
Eddie said he knew he'd have his hands full when he made lunchfor the gang last month.
“That first week, I made lunch for everybody and wentthrough three loaves of bread for lunch and for me,” herecalled. “I went, 'Three loaves for one meal? What?'"
“There’s more laundry,” Denise added.
“Its no little quick jaunt to the store with 12,”Eddie said. “It's a whole process to get everyone theirshoes, jackets, all the way off to the car in their seatbelts, intheir booster chairs and all.”
It's not just their big hearts that led to the Ebels taking onthe challenge of so many children while living in such a smallhouse.
“I was a street orphan for the first five years of mylife,” Eddie said recalling his early years on the streets ofSaigon.
He's the son a Vietnamese woman and an unknown American soldier.An American family adopted Eddie after he was airlifted out ofSaigon at the end of the Vietnam War.
“I'm glad that the Ebels adopted me, and gave me achance,” he said. “So if I can help other kids out,there's just no way to say no.”
But the Ebels couldn't pull off the feat of raising 10 withoutthe help of friends and neighbors. They've donated food, beds andeven the presents the Ebel family opened and played with onChristmas morning.
“We just opened up our hearts, focusing on the kids, andthe blessings just keep coming in," Eddie said. "That to me isamazing.”
The Ebels will have another major change next year. Theircurrent four-bedroom home is too small, and they will soon belooking for a larger one.
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