Approaching middle age, Ellie and Pete Wagner, who flip houses for a living, have never felt it was time to have children, until now. For various reasons including their ages, they contemplate adopting an older child, taking that idea one step further by considering adopting a child in the foster care system for what they believe are altruistic reasons, but in reality is probably more to make themselves feel better by doing something they consider a social good, Pete equating it somewhat to taking in a rescue dog. Thus, they are probably not fully prepared or equipped for what it all entails. Going through the foster care training under social workers Karen and Sharon with other couples and singles, they, in meeting a number of foster children at a fair, decide on the spur of the moment to take their adoption idea two steps further, first by thinking of adopting a teenager in meeting feisty fifteen year old Lizzy, the teenagers who are largely ignored at such fairs, and second by adopting more than one child when they discover that Lizzy has two younger siblings, adolescent Juan and preschooler Lita. Beyond the racial issue of the children coming from a Hispanic background and the challenges of dealing with a teenager who already has a developed mind of her own, largely in acting as mother to Juan and Lita in the absence of their own incarcerated mother, they discover that adopting Juan and Lita have their own issues in each having their own but different emotional problems. Aside from the views of their respective families who see what they’re doing much differently than them, Ellie and Paul not only have to deal with three children at different stages of their lives and directly with the outward issues each brings into their lives, but with the hidden issues, including the manipulation Lizzy brings to the table, her motivations which may not always match her outward actions.
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