KEARNEY, Neb. — Some people may think Lindsie Lybarger is a little crazy.
She prefers to consider herself blessed.
Last fall, the single, 31-year-old Kearney woman adopted three biological brothers, ages 8, 7 and 6.
"To me it was a no-brainer," she said. "I was more than willing to take them in. God did me a favor giving me them."
Lybarger met Sean, now 8, and Xavier, now 7, in February 2012 when they were students in her preschool class. The boys, plus their youngest brother, Chance, now 6, needed a foster family.
Lybarger wasn't a licensed foster parent, but she quickly got approval and took the boys in temporarily. At the time, Lybarger was working full time, taking care of the boys and, after they went to bed, finishing her homework as she worked on her bachelor's degree.
To complicate things further, in September 2014 Lybarger was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Medication regulates her disease, and family and friends help her to manage the boys' schedules.
In May, Lybarger was recognized by the State Department of Health and Human Services as the 2015 foster parent of the year for the Central Service Area. And three years after becoming their foster parent, Lybarger adopted the boys on Sept. 11 in a Buffalo County courtroom.
Once the adoption was final, the boys took Lybarger's last name. They bounce between calling her "Lindsie" and "Mom."
"All I've known is being a single parent, and going from no kids to three kids," she said with a chuckle. "When it's all you know, you just do it. We've figured out a routine and a schedule and what works for us, and it just kind of flows."
Lybarger is an example of someone who put the boys above herself, said Nichole Hersh, a supervisor for the State Department of Health and Human Services' foster care system. Hersh said Lybarger encouraged the boys to have a relationship with their biological family.
"For her to be willing to really involve the parents through this whole process was very important for the kids and their well-being. She was willing to take in children that she was not related to and ... had no obligation to them, and did a wonderful job caring for them and really putting them first.
"She could've easily said no," Hersh said.
After the adoption, the Lybargers celebrated with family and friends. Each boy wore a Superman T-shirt that read: "Superman was adopted, too."
"I think it was a relief for them, because they had a home, and it was stability for them," Lybarger said. "They were really excited."
"For her to be willing to really involve the parents through this whole process was very important for the kids and their well-being. She was willing to take in children that she was not related to and ... had no obligation to them, and did a wonderful job caring for them and really putting them irst."
Nichole Hersh, Department of Health and Human Services' foster care system