A Buffalo, New York man who has fostered more than 30 children over a period of 20 years adopted five siblings earlier this month.
Lamont Thomas said he was “fighting to keep back the tears” when the adoption became official in a New York courtroom on Oct. 17.
“Every day I think about it, my eyes swell up. All that we endured to make this happen, it was something,” Thomas, a single dad who previously adopted five children and had two biological children of his own, told “Good Morning America” last week.
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The newest additions to Thomas’ family – Zendaya, Jamel, Nakia, Major and Michaela – range from 1 to 5 years of age.
Thomas told NBC affiliate WGRZ that adopting all five of the siblings was the only way to keep them together. According to Thomas, he’s been trying to adopt the kids for more than two years.
“I wanted to be the difference, make a difference, by being a difference for these youth,” he said.
The father of 12 became certified as a foster parent after helping out friends who “had lost their child to the system.”
In 2007, he adopted three children. Then a fourth. Soon after, he adopted the first child he fostered, Michael Thomas, who is now 27.
“He was my third foster home and it ended up being my forever home,” Michael told “Good Morning America.”
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“Lamont never turned [a child] away,” he added. “They either aged out or went back home to their own families.”