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Herriman family with 10 kids, 7 adopted with special needs, gets new specially accommodating home

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 13 2013 3:50 p.m. MDT

The Green family. Back row L-R: Parker, Elli, Christianne, Jeremy, Sophi, Jessica, Taylor, Graci and Lexi. Front row L-R: Cali and Xander.

Photoumbra Studios 2012/Courtesy of Green family

HERRIMAN — The Green family has had no shortage of trials, challenges, laughter and joy in their household.

Now, they have a customized place to call home.

The family of 12, which includes seven children with special needs who were adopted from China, was able to build a new house to accommodate the needs of all their children.

The house was recently completed and is currently on view to the community as part of the Salt Lake Parade of Home's show, which runs through Aug. 17.

The Green family consists of Jeremy and Christianne Green and their three biological children, Taylor, Parker and Jessica; and their seven adopted children, including Graci, who has a serious heart condition and has required multiple surgeries; Xander, who has a rare disease that causes vascular malformations; Lexi, who is blind; Sophi, who was born without arms; Elli who was born blind and is severely autistic; Connor, who is also blind; and Cali, who was born with spina bifida and uses a wheelchair.

The house was built to accommodate the various special needs of each child, including wheelchair accessible spaces and an elevator for Cali, a special room for Elli where she can balance and climb without endangering herself; and a special kitchen sink located 18 inches off the floor for Sophi to wash her feet before dinner.

According to Jeremy Green, one of the best things about the house is how it came together.

"The other thing that's the best thing about the house is just how it's tailored to our needs," he said. "To us, it's perfect."

The Green children were amazed when they saw their newly completed home for the first time.

According to Green, the boys watched the building process throughout, but the five girls — who will live in princess-themed rooms — didn't get to see it once the princess tower was framed inside.

"We took them in a week ago and their jaws dropped," Green said. "They were giddy. They just couldn’t believe it."

Donations from individuals and companies made this much-needed change possible for the Greens.

"The way it came about, to have so much support and love and generosity from our community and from the world ... to see all that love poured out on our family was an extremely emotional experience," Green said.

Several cash donations were made to the family through www.puzzlethemhome.org in addition to material and labor donations made directly. Donations are still being accepted to help defray the mortgage costs.

"We have such sincere gratitude, unbelievable gratitude for everyone that helped out," Green said. "It lifts our spirits. It helps us. What we've taken on is unique. We feel like it's a calling for us … It's very challenging at times and it's wonderful to feel that support from others."

The home, which was built by Huish Construction, is listed as No. 20 on the Parade of Homes program and is called The Grand Junction. It was given the Judge's Choice award for Best of Category.

"The best thing about the house is probably how it came together," Green said. "It is a house that is built on love."

Tickets to the Parade of Homes are $15 per person, with discounts available online, and can be purchased at www.saltlakeparade.com.

To read more about the Greens, visit their family blog at www.abeautifulroad.com.

Email: ajones@desnews.com

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