A single foster dad in Ohio adopted five siblings on Friday to ensure all the children stayed together.
Robert Carter officially became the father of Marionna, Makayla, Robert, Giovanni and Kiontae. As someone who spent time in foster care, Carter said he knows first hand how it feels to be removed from a biological home and separated from siblings.
When he was 12, Carter went into foster care in Hamilton County, Ohio, and didn’t see some of his younger siblings for years. He later was granted custody of his younger sister and guardianship of his younger brother.
“When permanent custody was awarded to JFS, the five siblings were already placed in three different foster homes,” Adoption Worker Stacey Barton said. “Mr. Carter was the only foster parent willing and able to adopt all of the children. His childhood background has made him aware of the importance of keeping siblings together. He says that he enjoys being their father and that parenting them is easier than he could have ever imagined! His life is busy, with a lot of love, laughter and loudness! I have enjoyed working with him and witnessing the children bond as siblings.”
“I understand how they feel. I understand what they went through, so it really touched me. I was already thinking about adopting all of the kids but when I saw them crying, I was like, ‘Ok, I’m going to take all five to keep them together’,” Carter said.
“”Every night I talk to them and let them know, ‘I’m your dad forever. I know what it’s like and I’m always here for you.’ Like Marionna. She’s warmed up so much since the beginning. At first, she didn’t like me. She walked in my room last night and said, ‘I just want to say thanks for taking us in and taking care of us when our real mom couldn’t.’ It just really touched me. So just making memories, letting them know I’m here and they never have to go. I’m here for them no matter what.”