SKANDIA, Mich (WJMN) – With over half a million Tik Tok followers, 11.2 million views, and over 800 videos, one Skandia family is getting a lot of attention online. Meet the Bell Family.
“So David the oldest and he is 21,” said mom, Heather Bell. “And then Robert is 20. And then after Robert is Joshua, and he is 19. Okay, so next is Joshua and he is 20. And then Hailey is 19 wishes she was 20. And then next would be Brendon is 18, then Gideon is 17. Izabella is 15. And then Noah is 13.”
That brings the family’s grand total to ten. Parents, Heather and Luke Bell say that they thrive off of the noise and chaos that their eight children bring, but their house wasn’t always this full. Heather and Luke tried for years to get pregnant. With no success, Heather insisted on being a mom so the couple looked to adoption with their first son, David. After a successful adoption and having friends who were foster parents, the Bells decided to open their home up as well.
“Well, we adopted first and then we got into foster care,” said Luke Bell. “It is very expensive to adopt through private agencies. So then we were like Heather said, there was families that were helping children out through foster care. And then we, we were introduced to foster care, got our foster license. And it probably took a couple of years, or actually, once we got our foster license, it was very fast. Kids started coming in kids started coming in, we helped lots of kids.”
After David was added, the Bell family quickly grew from a party of three to a party of ten.
“So we adopted Joshua and his adoption was final July 2,” said Heather Bell. “And then July 3, we found out we were pregnant with Gideon. It was quite the weekend. And then we still had kids coming in and out when I was pregnant with Gideon. And then we had Gideon, we moved into this house because we needed a bigger house because we were in kind of a tiny house and needed more room. Then Izabella came in a year after that. And then it was just it Hailey was two years after that the Noah it was a year after that. And then the boys were the next year. So just like the last five years.”
The Bell’s unique story doesn’t stop there. After some extra spare time on her hands due to the Pandemic and the drive behind her after one of her sons, Gideon said she would never be Tik Tok famous, Heather posted a Tik Tok of her son Joshua sharing his story and showing off some of his signature dance moves. And just like that, the video went viral.
“My mom liked it really much because a bunch of people were saying ‘Oh I love your dance moves!'” said Joshua Bell.
“And everyone kept saying we love Josh, can we please see more Josh.” Heather Bell said
Heather then began sharing stories of her other kids as well as giving the viewers a glimpse into their everyday lives.
“And then I was like getting messages from people all over the world,” Heather Bell said. “Like ‘We love Josh oh my goodness’ and people love my kids. Then I had people asking do I have more kids so I posted another video about all of the kid’s stories. It wasn’t their personal stories it was just about when they came in and what did they bring to the family. Like Brendon is so funny and makes us laugh so I just picked a characteristic of the kids and I got even more people asking how do you adopt and tell me about foster and so like that went viral.”
Heather says one of the biggest blessings this app has given her is the ability to share her family’s stories and spread awareness for foster care and adoption.
“I just want to help people,” Heather Bell said. “I want to use our family’s story as like an inspiration just to make people more aware. I don’t think people are aware that there are tons of children looking for homes, whether through foster care or just adoption so I just want people out there to be aware that there are people out there that want to help. I just want to share our story with people just to, the world is so crazy right now so I just want to bring a smile to people just so they know that there is still good.”
Local 3’s Haley Schoengart was able to meet each of the Bell kids, hear there stories and see their Tik Toks in action.
Meet Robert, Brendon, and Noah
These three brothers had many ties to the Bell family far before they all lived under one roof.
“So my dad worked for the Bell family, and we rented from the Bell family and we were neighbors with the Bell family, and we were friends with the Bell family,” said Robert Bell.
The youngest of the three Noah was the first to be brought into the Bells home through foster care. After the death of Robert and Brendon’s father, those two followed.
“It kind of just made sense for us to go with them, because they wanted to split me and Brendon up, and Noah up because it’s hard to keep brothers together like that,” Robert Bell said. “So that would have been really hard for us. Just because we were so close. We are so close. And so it was just kind of awesome how God made it work and how we got all three brothers together.”
“The longest mean Robert I’ve ever been away from each other was when I went to college so we’ve always that bond,” Brendon Bell adds.
Mom Heather says that Noah is her Tik Tok buddy and is often in videos with his mom.
“It’s a little weird at school everybody’s like ‘Saw your mom on Tik Tok’ or ‘Wow your mom is Tik Tok famous,” Noah Bell said.
The three brothers all agree that the Bell family has blessed them in many ways.
“We definitely wouldn’t be where we’re at today without them. Like they just showed us a lot of support and love through everything. It was hard at first, because like, it was a transition,” Brendon Bell said. “We still saw him every day but it was the transition from like friends to family and that was a little bit hard to get used to but then after that, it was just, it just felt like we belonged like it was right where we were supposed to be.”