Living Large on Love, Part 3


Knoxville (WVLT) - All week we've been bringing you the story of the Pietys, a local family with 27 children, 24 which were adopted.

But Knoxvillians, Ken and Linda Piety wouldn't have it any other way.

Some of their children have severe handicaps.

In the 3rd part of our series "Living Large On Love", we see how those disabilities aren't stopping some of the children from reaching out to make life easier for their siblings. It truly is, one hand helping the other.

With 27 children to raise, Ken and Linda Piety have 27 different personalities and traits to deal with. They've come from just about everywhere.

Three boys, Sage, Keegan and Ethan were adopted from Russia, but four others have even more special needs because of cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

"And then they ask me why I'm laughing and I say well, if you were raised with 16 brothers and 10 sisters, they're like, we have 3 we thought it was hard, well, welcome to my life," meet 23-year-old Zachary who resembles a certain actor. "All I can look at and say is, 'alrighty then.'"

And his 26 year old sister, Karrie. "Vicki bye."

"Karrie who's in a wheelchair, Zachary who's in a wheelchair, are taken care of by our two kids who are mentally challenged," says Linda Piety.

That's 41 year old Charles, and 25 year old Katie.

"Go feed the horses in the morning at 8, get him up at 9 o'clock, bring him down here for breakfast, and do his medicine ," Charles says.

And blood pressure.

"How about that game last night, I like that game 3-1," he says.

From giving him medicine, to lifting Zach in and out of his chair ,to getting him his meals, Charles is there 24/7.

"This is my gymnastic stuff, winter stuff and this is my cheerleading stuff, my cheerleading uniform, I cheer for the Whail Sharks," says Katie Piety.

"Katie provides all the care for Karrie, she dresses her, she bathes her, she helps her get to bed at night," says Ken.

As well as helping her through her daily exercises.

"Katie is probably the child who had the most significant issues when we got her. She came from Alabama and when we went to see Katie, they weren't interested in us adopting her. She was going to be institionalized that they spend 3 years, she was four at the time, she hadn't learned a single thing in three years, and she couldn't be helped, she was uneducatable," Ken says. "Watching her change was a miracle."

The Piety House inside and out is handicapped accessible to the max.

With electric doors, blinds for the closet, and accessible bathroom.

Two elevators enable Karrie and Zachary to go just about anywhere.

And you won't believe this, a slide from the top to the bottom door, as a fire emergency exit.

But disabilities or not, each member of the family is treated equally. Zachary said it best.

"What's it like living here? Truthfully? Noisy, very noisy. But they're my family and I love them dearly, I mean you know I came from a background of my birth parents were drug addicts and look at where I am now, with a job and doing my work and just happy and living life without having to worry about, you know, what some other people have to face."

Zachary who you just saw, received a kidney transplant and is doing great. Charles and Katie regularly compete in the special Olympics.

And it's fitting that Thursday on thanksgiving, a day full of wonderful foods, we're going to see what it takes to feed this family.

We go grocery shopping with dad, and this isn't to a convenience store. Plus, we'll look in on the family as they sit down to the dinner table.


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