While it is true that none of us can choose our relatives when we are born, we can have a say in who we choose to call family. That is exactly what foster father Robert Carter did when he decided to adopt an entire brood of five siblings.
Carter, 29, who had spent years in Ohio’s foster care system, knew full well what it was like to lose touch with loved ones. He entered the system at age 12. It wasn’t until years later that he was finally reunited with his younger sister and brother.
The children Carter adopted, whose names are Marionna, Makayla, Robert, Giovanni and Kiontae, were living in three separate foster homes when he was awarded custody.
“Mr. Carter was the only foster parent who wanted and could adopt all the children,” said social worker Stacey Barton. WCVB-5 TV. “His childhood experience has made him aware of the importance of keeping siblings together.”
Before the adoption, Carter was already fostering the three siblings. When he arranged for the girls and their foster mothers to meet so the boys wouldn’t lose touch with each other and realized how distraught they were at the end of the visit, he knew there was only one course of action.
The single parent had a lot of responsibility to take on for himself, but Carter was determined to keep these children together. It is not always easy. You can choose your family, but that doesn’t mean they feel like family overnight.
Right now, Carter is concentrating on gaining the trust of his children and trusting that in time, love will come too.
“[I’m] making memories to replace a lot of the bad ones, ”Carter said. “Every night, I talk to them and let them know: ‘I am your father forever. I know how it is and I’m always here for you. ‘
And isn’t that what being a real family is all about?
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