Updated 04/29/2012 09:51 AM
Who is the Johnson family?
For a couple of months now, we've told you about the efforts of Syracuse firefighters to give a Tully family a home makeover. But just who is this family that has garnered such support and admiration from the community? YNN's Erin Clarke introduces us to the Johnsons.
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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- It all started when boy met girl and the two realized they had something special in common.
"We've been married 39 years and we love kids and we both always wanted to adopt," said Diana Johnson.
Dave and Diana Johnson both came from families with multiple children, but not as many as they would one day have.
"We've kind of built our family through these 39 years. Fourteen adopted and three homemade and we've done some foster care," said Diana.
Their family grew just by chance.
"People that knew us knew that we would try to help if some kid needs a home," said Dave Johnson.
Now that the youngest of their clan are teenagers, it's pretty hard to get them all in one place at one time, but the Johnson kids around Saturday say having a big family is one of the things that makes them unique.
"My friends, I'm like how many people do you have in your family? And they're like three and then they're like how many do you have in yours and I'm like seventeen. They're like what? Seventeen, you heard right," said Grace Johnson.
Dave and Diana have adopted their children from all around the world, including India and Africa.
"They're the shirt off their back for you type people. They, we're going to get up in the middle of the night, no matter where you are we're coming to get you type people. Selfless, loving," said Mark Johnson.
Dealing with all their kids’ different cultures and backgrounds has made life a little interesting and fun.
"I have gone into a beauty shop and said I have four African American girls and you guys have got to help me learn how to do this right," said Diana.
But at the end of the day, the Johnsons say they're like any other family, just bigger.
"If I have a soccer game, we all go to that and then we come home and have dinner," said Grace.
And they feel their great big family is great big blessing.
"We're incredibly unique and we all have different personalities and different strengths. I think that's the best thing about it, because at the end of the day we all come together," said Mark.
"I don't think I'd change anything. I think this is the way God really wanted us to live our life," said Diana.
The Johnsons are staying at a camp site while their home is being remodeled. They'll see their new home for the first time at the big reveal on Monday, May 7th.