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8 Is Not Enough For Actress Who Adopted 5 Children After Her Friend Died Of Cancer

MALIBU ( — Actress Kimberly Russell is probably best known for her role as Sarah Nevins in the hit '80s sitcom "Head of the Class."

But it's her current role that she finds most rewarding: mother to her three children with artist and filmmaker Michael Bonewitz and the five children they adopted in 2013.

CBS2/KCAL9's Adrianna Weingold spoke with Russell Sunday as her family sat down to a meal in Malibu at their now typically crowded table. She's now sharing her story for the first time on TV.

"This is the best Mother's Day ever," she told her family.

Russell first met the five newest additions to her family as they stood huddled around a hospital bed. Her friend Marie was dying of lung cancer and she asked Russell to please take care of her children.

"It was a moment that I will never forget, looking in her eyes and the fear that she had, and the hope that she had that everything would be OK," Russell said.

Without a second thought, and without knowing how she and her husband would manage it, she promised Marie she would.

"I made a promise that I will never go back on, and that's to be mom to her five children," she said.

Russell and Bonewitz spent the next several months taking care of the children and their dying mother.

The couple both work hard to make sure their eight children are happy and healthy. But the journey hasn't been easy for the five who lost their mom so young.

Daughter Athina Jordanou said, "I'm so grateful to have Kim be the mom that I'm celebrating it with now." She says she's thankful her siblings didn't have to split up and that they have parents who love them like their own.

Russell sobbed as she reflected on her Mother's Day: "They're so amazing and it's been the best Mother's Day ever."



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