Updated May 6, 2022 - 8:00 am
Kimberly Hairr’s mother is her hero.
The Henderson 13-year-old spent years separated from her four biological siblings, staying at different foster homes in the valley, until 2019 when Aimee Hairr and her husband, Heath Hairr, decided to become foster parents for Kimberly and her siblings.
Then last year, the Henderson couple adopted all five youths.
“My parents are amazing. I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Kimberly said, her voice halting for a moment. “For Mother’s Day, I would like to say: ‘Thank you for everything you’ve done for me.’ She changed my life.”
Aimee and Heath Hairr, however, aren’t heroes to just Kimberly. The longtime foster parents have adopted 10 children over the last two decades.
And the Hairrs took in two more toddlers this year, including a medically fragile 1-year-old, planning to adopt them after the couple saw how much the littlest ones need their love and care.
“Every child needs a mom and dad,” Aimee Hairr said. “There is no child in the world who doesn’t need a mom or dad. They need someone who tells them ‘I love you’ every single day.”
There is, without a doubt, a lot of love at the Hairr’s single-story home with Nolan, 21, Landon, 17, Jaden, 16, James, 15, Kimberly, 13, Alivia, 11, Genesis, 7, Benjamin, 5, Jacob, 4, Joselynn, 3, Timothy, 2, and Aksel, 1.
The kids aren’t just looking out for themselves. They help each other, with the older ones caring for their younger brothers and sisters.
“It’s never boring or quiet,” said Nolan Hairr. “Doctor’s visit. Kids outside. I never have to worry about feeling bored. It keeps me entertained.”
Nolan, who was adopted from Russia, gives back to his parents by helping out with the day’s tasks. He divvies up the cooking with his siblings every morning so everyone gets fed a healthy meal.
The children’s parents said this shared sense of duty, carried out by everyone old enough to help, is amazing to witness.
“They are the ones that take over,” Aimee said. “I can see miracles every single day and until you get involved in foster care, you don’t get to see it. I see it in simple things, like a smile.”
‘A non-stop process’
The couple bought a 2013 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van to carry the whole crew. At the couple’s five-bed, five-bath home, the kids bunk up two to a room.
Heath Hairr owns a home health care company, and as the business has become more successful, he is able to manage from home while still being the dad he always wanted to be.
“The first 10 years was Aimee doing everything with the kids, and it was me working my tail off trying to catch dinner,” Heath said. “Then it slowly got a little bit easier. Now I’m to the point where anything I need to manage I can do from home.”
The tasks in this household, though, are never-ending. Laundry?
“A non-stop process,” Heath Hairr said. “If you miss a day then you have three buckets full looking at you the next morning. So it has always got to be a constant process to keep the basket half-full. There’s no separating colors. It’s just whatever is in the bucket.”
Groceries? All of them are ordered online.
“We will take expired chips!” Aimee Hairr said. “Online. Smith’s. Sams Club… Every three to four days we run out of food. The teenagers.”
The couple said they live frugally to make it work. Aimee and the kids started an online thrift store that is profitable. It teaches the kids the value of money and the importance of earning income to pay for what they want like cell phones and clothes.
“I’m a huge thrift store junkie,” the mother said. ” I love to do yard sales.”
How about the furniture?
”Everything gets broken,” she said. “Everything gets spit up on. So we just toss it. If I have to, we’ll go buy another couch for 50 bucks. How often do things get broken? Daily. Every single day. You just have to let it go. That stuff means nothing.”
The couple recently purchased a farm with 15 acres on the East Coast in order to give the kids more space and help some of the youths recover from the trauma they endured before the Hairrs adopted them. The family is planning to move there in the end of the month, loading up their van and pickup with the kids and drive across the country. They are prepared for a long journey.
“Nevada has given me my kids,” Aimee Hairr said. “It has been a great place to live.”
As they prepared to leave the place they have called home, the Hairrs said there are a couple of important keys to success in being parents to so many kids. One is not worrying about the little things.
“Release your expectations,” Heath Hairr said. “Provide a loving environment and teach them to love each other. Everything else just flows.”
The second key to the family’s success, everyone agreed leading up to this Mother’s Day, is Aimee. She is the anchor of the family. Her husband describes her as a “financial wizard” with a huge heart. She’s giving to the children, he said, at all times.
”Mother’s Day is a celebration for our whole family. She is the most amazing person in the world – there is no doubt,” her husband said.
Aimee Hairr said she is humbled by the admiration and that she, too, loves Mother’s Day.
“Mother’s Day is for everyone who loves on a kid,” she said. “Period. We are so lucky to get these kids.”