Paying it Forward: Couple builds family through fostering

Becoming a foster parent is the ultimate way to help your community.

Peter and Kendra Amico wanted a big family, and a big family is what they got.  They have five kids -- ages 8, 6, 5, 4, and 10 months.

"It's fun!" Peter said.  "It's crazy, but it's fun!" Kendra added.

The couple first chose to start their large family through fostering.

"We wanted to give a home to a kid who didn't have a lot of other options," Kendra explained.

First, came Jaylen.

"He was 9 months when he came to live with us.  Jaylen we got to foster him and then we got to adopt him after a year" Kendra said.

Kendra then gave birth to Julian. A short time later came sisters Lia and Casey.  The Amicos got the call that the girls needed a home -- the night before Christmas -- four years ago.

"I call them my Christmas Eve babies," she said.  "I think we knew we had the capacity to take two, so it was a good fit for us.

And then came baby number five when Kendra gave birth to baby Magnolia.

"Alex came before the baby," Kendra said of the oldest in their flock.

At the age of 17, Alex was getting kicked out of a group home with nowhere to go. The Amicos took him in so he could graduate from Boone High School. He's now in college,  and while he is technically not their son, they sure love him like he is.

"He's been a part of the fam -- not officially adopted but he's a part of our family," Peter explained.

So what does the future hold for the Amicos?  

"I'm not birthing any more children," Kendra said with a laugh.

But, they are not ruling out more foster children.

"Definitely the older kids are on our hearts because the older kids are the ones that don't get placed in families," Peter said.  "In Orange, Osceola, and Seminole, there are 170 kids in group homes."

If you have a "Paying it Forward" story that you would like for us to cover, message LuAnne Sorrell on Facebook, or email us at