MLB standout Eric Sogard and his wife, Kaycee, always knew they wanted to adopt.
“We had always wanted a bigger family,” Kaycee Sogard told TODAY Parents in an interview from their home in Arizona. “I don't think we had a number. After we had our third, I was definitely ready to be done being pregnant. My pregnancies were not great. I was sick all the time and I knew I didn’t want to do it again.”
The Sogards were first introduced to the realities of adoption when they were dating in college and Kaycee’s parents adopted her two sisters out of foster care.
“We got to experience that and really just experience the love that they brought into the home,” MLB infielder Eric Sogard said. “And from the other end, the love that they would have been challenged to get from their situation.”
One month after giving birth to their third child, a daughter named Priar, Eric and Kaycee began the initial stages of adoption with a home study.
“It’s funny, too, because you probably wouldn't expect a month after having your third child to say, ‘OK, let's go through the home study for adoption,’” Eric shared. “We were blessed with three great kids, so in a way they made it possible to want to grow our family so soon.”
The couple was home study approved in January 2019, thinking they would hopefully find a match sometime in the next year, since their youngest, Priar, was only 2 months old at the time. To their surprise, four months later they were blessed with their daughter, Leyla.
“There was really never any difference (between adopted and biological children) — it’s just brother or sister,” Eric said. “The kids were just excited to have another sibling. It’s amazing to see how the children embrace that.”
Although they weren't looking to adopt again quite yet, they were matched with their son Rye’s birth mom, and he was born in March 2020, just as the coronavirus pandemic began to unfold.
“We were watching TV in the hospital watching it unfold on SportsCenter with all the teams shutting down and I said to Eric — you’re not going to start your season,” Kaycee said. “And of course, he didn't end up leaving until June or July and he had that whole time home with us and with Rye as a newborn that he would have never had. It was such a blessing, not only for him, but for me to be there for those early months.”
The mom of five children under the age of 6 — Saydee, 6, Knix, 5, Priar, 2, Leyla, 19 months, and Rye, 9 months — said that even though life with so many young kids can be “a little crazy,” she loves it.
“It’s chaotic, but fun chaos,” Kaycee said.
“There is never a dull moment,” Eric added.
This year, the Sogards have been enjoying quality family time together and focusing on helping more children through adoption. They’ve been working with the Gift of Adoption Fund, which provides adoption assistance grants.
“The cost of adoption can be insanely high,” Kaycee said. “Eric and I have been so blessed with his career, so the cost of adoption was not a burden for us, but we know it can be. We wanted to be part of something that would afford other families the same opportunity without the burden of cost.”
Though both Eric and Kaycee champion adoption, they said the way adoption sometimes is portrayed isn’t entirely accurate.
“There's kind of this picture painted of adoption that it's this beautiful, amazing thing — and it is,” Kaycee said. “But it’s also hard and there's a lot of trauma involved. There’s loss and heartache.”
But through it all, the Sogards cherish the joy adoption brings.
“We always kind of say that kids can’t be loved by too many people,” Eric said.
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