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Joe Berger Grows Family by Adopting Daughter

The Berger clan has grown by one.

Vikings center Joe Berger and his wife, Abby, are in the process of finalizing a domestic adoption of a new daughter.

Macy, the Bergers' new baby girl, was born in May.

"She's super calm," Berger said. "Of the four kids, she's probably the most easy-going baby we've had. She's pretty mellow. If you keep her needs met, then she's smiling and happy."

Macy is the second child the Bergers have adopted. They also have an adopted 6-year-old son named Blake, who splits the difference between their firstborn, 9-year-old son, Gavin, and 3-year-old daughter, Ella.

Berger said he and Abby, who have been married for 12 years, were partially inspired to adopt based on Abby's family history.

"We had talked about it before we got married, but I had to think about it a little bit," Berger said. "Her dad grew up in an orphanage in Ireland … her mindset was like, 'Why wasn't my dad good enough to have a family?'

"We talked about it and decided it was something we wanted to do," he added.

Berger said there are many factors that go into an adoption. But the main goal is that each child is placed into a caring and loving environment.

"It's not easy," Berger said. "There's a lot of difficulties with adoption sometimes, and I think everyone has a story.

"But kids deserve to have parents in a forever home," he added.

Berger isn't the only one associated with the Vikings who has gone through the adoption process. Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman and his wife, Michele, have adopted their six children, and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski and his wife, Leah, have adopted five children.

The 12-year veteran said he's actually enjoyed having four kids more than three simply because each parent can handle two of them.

View the best images of the offensive linemen from the Vikings' offsesaon program.

"It was harder going to three kids because now you're outnumbered all of the sudden," Berger quipped. "The first kid is a big shock, and the second one is fun but three … it's like they've got us beat now.

"I think four will be an easier transition than three," he added.

Berger said he and Abby got a phone call in April about the opportunity to adopt Macy.

Berger said that he looks forward to coming home from practice and games to see his family, especially after a tough loss.

"Just the unconditional love the kids give you, especially when they're young," Berger said. "You can have a bad day at work, and they are there to give you a hug because Dad is home.

"It makes you smile to go home and see your kids," Berger said. "I love being a dad."

With 2016 Verizon Vikings Training Camp less than three weeks away, Berger will soon begin prepping for the upcoming season.

Leaving his wife and children back home in Michigan, however, will be bittersweet. Especially since there's been a new addition to the family.

"They come visit a little bit," Berger said. "But probably the hardest part about training camp for me at this point is leaving the kids.

"I think you could talk to a lot of guys, and it's probably the same for them," he added. "The work is one thing, and it's not easy but leaving your family might be the hardest part of it."

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