Christie Jameson sometimes wonders if the idea to adopt 35 children was planted when she was 12. She came home from a doctor’s appointment with her mother one afternoon and discovered that her only sibling, Buddy, 15, had accidentally hung himself while playing on a rope.
“He was such a sweet, outgoing brother — everybody loved him,” Jameson, now 73, tells PEOPLE. “It left a huge hole in my heart.”
After she married and gave birth to two children of her own, Jameson, who now lives in South Jordan, Utah, decided with her husband, Alva, that “nobody can ever be loved too much.”