BECOMING A FAMILY OF 7: Ty is a student from Moody Bible Institute who came to live with us in January 2014 and quickly became very much a part of our family. In May, his mom (the aunt who raised him) passed away. His uncle, the only father he's ever really known, passed away when he was seven. While Ty does have some connections with his birth family and the cousins he was raised with, we have essentially become his family. We have together chosen to formally pursue an adult adoption. The state of Illinois only requires the consent of the adult adoptee and that the adoptee has lived with the family for 2 years prior to adopting. Our landlord originally granted permission for Ty to live with us for 6 months. None of us anticipated how deeply connected we would become in that short time. He is a son to us and a big brother to our other children in every way. I smile every time he calls us "Moms" and "Pops." We recently approached our landlord and told her we were planning to legally adopt Ty and asked permission for him to continue to live with us while he is attending Moody Bible Institute for graduate school the next year and a half, so that we can meet the two year living requirement for adoption. She said yes ... for an extra $350/month. Ty isn't a minor and isn't legally adopted yet, so he falls through a loophole in the lease that would otherwise include him without a rent increase. We have two more years on the lease, so finding another place to live isn't really an option. We either need to pay the extra $350/month, which we cannot afford, or Ty will have to relocate and we will not be able to adopt him. Ty has enriched our family and we will always proudly consider him our son. We would love to make that formal through adoption. Yes, he is an adult. But even adults benefit from having parents, siblings and a place to call home. Our goal is to raise $5,950 dollars to cover the increase in rent needed for Ty to remain with us the next 17 months, so that we can legally become a family.