Pinkerton and her husband Troy now have a loving family consisting of Devlin (18), Julian (20), Cameron (23), Anthony (25), Joey (23) and Tracee (28).
Shannon Pinkerton has observed her parents from an early age, running a group home for children with special needs and she has understood the fact that every child deserves a family and a forever home. So, Pinkerton was more than eager to foster a 10-year-old named Joey in 2009. Joey had Down syndrome and the decision to adopt a kid with any kind of disability came with a lot of challenges.
“My son, Cody, begged us to adopt him,” she told PEOPLE in an interview. “I’ve always had a heart for these kids." The now 52-year-old Pinkerton and her husband Troy have gone on to adopt five other young men who have Down syndrome after Joey, aged 23. The Pinkertons now have a loving family consisting of Devlin, 18, Julian, 20, Cameron, 23, Anthony, 25 and Tracee, 28. Some of these boys have also developmental disabilities like dwarfism and nonverbal autism.
But according to the mom of six, the family never experiences a dull moment as they are always indulged in some sort of fun activity such as riding horses on the 40 acres of their land at Glenrock, Wyoming, collecting eggs from the chickens they raise in the coop or just head out for a grocery run. “They are happy about being here because they don’t live a boring life,” Troy, who works as a coal miner, told the outlet.
“They are either camping or going to Disneyland or riding horses. If they were maybe in a facility, they’d live day by day and wouldn’t get to do what so-called normal people get to do. But they are definitely on the go, these kids,” he added. “I want the boys to have life experiences they didn’t have in foster care,” adds Pinkerton. The Pinkerton family regularly updates their daily lives and fun activities with the boys on their social media pages.
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"If you get to know them, you just fall in love with them. They don’t judge anybody on anything. They are so kind,” the mom quips. Along with the adopted boys, the Pinkerton couple also have four adult biological children and three grandchildren. The family often spend their evenings and weekends visiting their 22-year-old son Cody's wrestling matches in college. “It’s very busy,” Troy shares. “The boys make life exciting and bring a lot of joy. We just want to help them and give them a place to call their home.”
We are fortunate to have more people like Pinkerton and her husband out there. In a similar story, 39-year-old Ben Carpenter from England made headlines in 2021 after adopting five disabled kids after adopting his first one at the age of 21. Carpenter became a single and doting father and aims to adopt more kids in hopes of giving them a better life. The first child that Carpenter adopted, Jack, was a 14-year-old who had autism.
Ruby, who's 11, has a complex disability. Lilly, aged nine is profoundly deaf and Joseph, aged six, has Down syndrome. His fifth child, Teddy, had unfortunately passed away in November 2019. Teddy had a rare genetic disorder, Cornelia de Lange syndrome. However, he passed away due to sepsis and not because of his disability. After the death of Teddy, Carpenter was grieving and decided to adopt his sixth child later than planned. Louis, his sixth child, is blind and has cerebral palsy.
He also plans to build a sensory room to help the children with sensory issues, developmental disabilities and learning difficulties. The room gives the children a special place to escape to and feel secure and safe. With a room designed specifically for them, the children have control over the elements they want to interact with. Anyone can support him in building the sensory room by heading over to his fundraiser online and donating anything they wish.