Ken and Roxanna “Rockie” Decker of Farmington have two biological children and have taken in numerous foster children over the years, adopting seven of them. The blended family poses at a wedding in March. Submitted photo

FARMINGTON — When Ken and Roxanna “Rockie” Decker’s nephews needed a place to stay the couple knew they could help.

Ken and Roxanna “Rockie” Decker of Farmington have opened their home to numerous foster children over the years. They have adopted seven of them. Submitted photo

“We started with kinship placement,” Rockie said. “My parents were foster parents, I grew up with it. I knew it was something we could do to help.”

She said Gov. John Baldacci signed a law that anyone taking in Maine children needed to be licensed so they did.

The nephews were reunified with their mom, “which was great,” Rockie said. “We ended up taking in others after that.”

The Deckers have two biological children, the oldest born in 1994. They have had 26 other children live at their home through the years.

Rockie said of those 26, they adopted two groups of siblings. One was a family of four from Lewiston; the other a family of three from Wilton.

“They were living two houses down from us in an apartment building,” she said. “We didn’t know them.”

One of child has high medical and intellectual needs.

The three siblings were all born on July 27 in different years.

One girl who was adopted two weeks before turning 18 went to Maranatha Christian University in Wisconsin, obtained her nursing degree and now works in a hospital in South Carolina.

“She got married this year, on March 14,” Rockie said. “Just before the lockdown was put on us.” One of our biological children is in school in Massachusetts.”

She said there are seven children living with them now, including two foster children. The oldest is 12 and three are 6 years old.

Rockie said one of them runs around the house singing like an opera singer and dancing.

“One 6-year-old is in my husband’s hip pocket,” she said. “He knows how to drive the tractor, equipment.

“The kids bundle wood, help in the hayfield in the summer,” she said.

In addition to raising and loving so many children, the Deckers operate Genesis Farm on Hammond Road. High-quality horse hay and firewood are the two primary products sold.

“We offer bulk firewood for winter and bundled firewood for summer,” Rockie said. “The kids work hard, play hard. They have 65 acres to roam.”

She said the family eats family-style around the table. Few prepackaged items are served.

“We eat out maybe once a week,” Rockie said. “It can be expensive.”

Rockie is also a full-time student at the University of Maine Farmington to earn a degree in psychology.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, everything is being done by video now, including Department of Health and Human Services meetings, schooling and Skype or Zoom meetings with parents.

“It’s a challenge right now,” Rockie said.

Another challenge is setting everyone’s schedules.

“Each child comes with a reunification plan, with schedules for visitation meetings with parents one to three days a week,” Rockie said.

“We’re a pretty busy family,” she said. “There’s a lot going on usually.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.