happening peoplearchive

Christy Obie

Life-long Eugenean Christy Obie sits on the front porch of her south Eugene home with six of her 12 children. The youngest, eight-year-old twins Lilly and Delaney, peer out from behind Karson, Cooper, Bailey and Broyden. The family was started soon after Obie's marriage at age 22 to Bill Barrett, when the couple adopted Jason, the son of her cousin who was tragically killed. They later adopted Jason's half-sister Maleah, in between the births of bio-babies Casey, Molly and Mason, and also raised Mike, an adopted boy from down the road. "At that point, we decided to adopt through a minority program," says Obie. "There's a need for homes for African-American kids." Since the twins entered school, Obie has had time to start a non-profit, A Family for Every Child (afamilyforeverychild.org), devoted to finding "forever families" for foster children. The first annual Heart Gallery exhibit, 33 portraits of local foster kids, has toured the area since its debut at the 5th St Market last November. "All but five have been adopted," says Obie. "But there are 1000 kids in foster care in Lane County."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 2 August 2007

hp archive