Pastor adopts three siblings with mental health challenges - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Pastor adopts three siblings with mental health challenges

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Seven years ago John and Terri Janke made a life changing decision. 

"They were going to split the kids up and so that the boy was going to be separate from the girls because no one was interested in adopting the boy at the time," John told us. 

With two grown daughters of their own the couple decided to adopt an 11-year-old boy and his sisters ages 2 and 1 to become a family of seven. 

"We felt like we had had such a nice warm family and we wanted to be able to share that," Terri says. 

John is a pastor at Northbrook Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids, he says he and his wife had no idea what they were getting into. 

 "All three came with mental health issues from trauma in their past," he told us. 

 "They act out in ways that they will harm themselves or harm others and so in those situations you have to intervene," he added. 

Despite the challenges John says he'd adopt the children all over again. 

"It's created in me much more compassion for other people and has put me in places where I can minister to people I would not have been able to in the past."

John says the physical demands of raising the family lead him to have back issues. 

He recently had a spinal surgery he says cost more than $100,000.

John tells us his insurance only covered $9,000 worth. 

David Janke, John's nephew created a Go Fund Me page to help with his uncle's medical bills: https://www.gofundme.com/giveback2john

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