PARENTS Adriana Soler and Walter Hernandez have four adorable reasons to get up every morning.
The Latin American, Catholic married couple are parents to a toddler and one-year-old triplets, all born in the space of 18 months.
Their life is a mixture of late-nights and early starts, the pitter-patter of eight little feet scampering around the house, and more food than the average fridge could take.
During the first year of the triplet’s life, the fast-growing family lived in a rental property in Browns Plains, but soon the idea of fitting four children and two adults into one unit became a nightmare.
“I remember this year we were about to finish our contract here for three years, and I looked at the house – we’re not fitting in it anymore,” Ms Soler said.
“Our house was a three-room house in combined living, the master was for the triplets, our bed is in the guest room.
“We don’t have anything; all our things are left in the garage.
“We needed to move from there.”
The couple found a miracle in a program run by the Jubilee parish, which hosts the Latin American Catholic community.
The unique housing program offers a young couple a rental home in Paddington and at the end of their lease agreement they receive back their rental payments as a deposit on a house.
Couples have the flexibility to increase their rent to save more for their deposit or lower their payments to suit their budget.
The program’s previous recipients were Ms Soler’s good friends and fellow Colombians, Yenny and Alex Malaver, who are parents of a young boy with the rare aging disorder known as progeria.
In July, the parish accepted Ms Soler and Mr Hernandez’s application to live in the Head Start home and the new family moved into their home last month.
Within three years the couple will earn enough off their rent to buy their first home.
“In three years time I hope to stay here (in Brisbane), have my family, living in our own place, going all together to church,” Ms Soler said.
“I feel so blessed.”
The past two years have been filled with many blessings for Ms Soler and Mr Hernandez, who met in Acacia Ridge in 2008 and married in 2009.
Ms Soler was working as a Spanish teacher in Wynnum and dedicated her weekends to serving the Latin American Catholic community when she fell pregnant for the first time.
Eight months after the birth of their daughter, Gabriela, Ms Soler found out just two days before a planned trip to her home country Colombia she was pregnant a second time.
Ms Soler booked a visit to the doctors because she “was feeling different” and a scan identified “something wrong”.
“When I was there I remember the lady said, ‘Something is wrong,’” Ms Soler said.
“She said ‘I can see two dots’.”
Ms Soler, who was 37 at the time, was stunned to hear that she was possibly carrying twins.
“I said, ‘Ok whatever happens, God, you know more than me’,” she said.
Ms Soler honoured her trip oversees and spent the first trimester in Colombia with her young daughter, while Mr Hernandez, who is originally from El Salvador, stayed in Australia for work.
Ms Soler arrived in Colombia just as the Zika virus affecting pregnant women had broken out in Brazil.
“I was there in the early stage, the first trimester of the pregnancy, and it was really hard,” Ms Soler said.
“I couldn’t even get up out of bed for two months.
“I was almost dying.”
Feeling something was not going well with the pregnancy, Ms Soler booked another doctor’s appointment in Colombia.
She advised the doctor that an Australian GP said she was carrying twins.
“The doctor said ‘No there’s no twin,’” Ms Soler said.
“I was like, ‘God, thank you’.
“He said ‘No, there’s three’.”
A month into the pregnancy, one of the two embryos – which had originally started as a girl and a boy – split into two, resulting in triplets.
The couple’s case is considered rare among multiple births since they conceived the triplets naturally, without the assistance of IVF.
In Australia, the odds of conceiving triplets naturally are one in every 9000 births.
“I remember in Colombia the specialist was a teacher at a university, a lecturer, and I was there very scared but he was very excited, like a kid, to meet the mother of triplets,” Ms Soler said.
Ms Soler received two pieces of advice to face the pregnancy – “feel blessed” and to refuse any doctors who offered her selective embryo reduction, where one foetus is aborted during pregnancy.
“If you are going to a doctor in Australia or any other doctor, you need to be aware that it’s possible that someone is going to ask you to kill one of the babies,” Ms Soler said.
“You can choose if you can keep three, two, or one.
“I said, ‘No sorry, I believe in God, this is what God wants, so I’m going to do whatever I have to’.”
It all came as a shock to the triplet’s father, who was driving on a busy highway when he received a call from the GP with the good news.
“I’m on the Pacific Highway heading south, passing Mt Gravatt exit, and I get a call from her GP congratulating me on the triplets,” Mr Hernandez said.
“I’m on speaker phone so I can’t hear properly.
“I pulled out on the next exit.”
Ms Soler, who returned to Australia after spending the first trimester in Colombia, said she called up “every single one of my priest friends” asking for prayers for her family.
Within months members of the Latin American Catholic community and even strangers who read the family’s story on Facebook adorned the expectant parents with an endless supply of food, money, cleaners, wipes and nappies.
“It was not a car full of nappies, they were in utes,” Ms Soler said.
In June last year, Ms Soler and her husband welcomed their beautiful triplets, Lucia, Sarah and Sebastian, born at 34 weeks.
They are now 15 months old.
“All healthy, all happy,” Ms Soler said.
“So we have three girls and only one boy, but he’s a big boy.”
From dedicating every weekend to their Catholic community, Ms Soler said her family now has her full attention.
“Our mission now is our family,” Ms Soler said.