Two sets of twin siblings have found their forever home after a Cincinnati, Ohio, couple adopted them on the same day.
Nearly five years ago, Karen and Tobias Thompson of Hamilton County agreed to become foster parents to Karen’s now-14-year-old niece and nephew, Wilmya and William.
However, after hearing that the children’s younger twin half-sisters, now-9-year-olds Sharnia and Sharleathea, were in the child welfare system, Tobias encouraged his wife to bring them on board as well.
The decision came about roughly one year into the Thompson’s union. The pair met when they were in high school but drifted apart, ultimately to raise their own families, separately. However, years after those marriages ended, the pair reconnected and eventually remarried in 2014.
Between them, they have seven adult children, 28 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, but after hearing of Wilmya and William’s unspecified troubles at home, the couple didn’t hesitate to help out.
Sharnia and Sharleathea were reportedly continuously being moved around foster homes. So, Tobias invited them over for a visit as well. The man told the outlet, the kids “didn’t want to go home, back to the other foster home.”
On Thursday, Sept. 9, the Thompsons made their family’s expansion official when they legally adopted all four children, according to Fox 26 Houston. “They’re family, so we might as well keep them together,” Karen told reporters.
Though they had a difficult time at first, Karen said, “You can see the difference.” She added, “They have been through a lot… this is the light at the end of the tunnel.”
In a statement following the adoption, Tobias, whom the kids refer to as “papa,” said there was “no sense splittin’ ‘em up. Keep ‘em all together.” He continued, “Show ‘em a lot of love. That’s all they need. Love.”
Judge Ralph Winkler, who oversaw the Thompson’s case, commended the two, calling them “a great example of what parents should be,” WCPO 9 news reported. Amber Sawyer, the couple’s Hamilton County Job & Family Services adoption caseworker, spoke on behalf of the Thompsons during the court proceedings.
“One of the things that stuck out to me is how much family is important to them,” Sawyer said. “You can just feel the love and the bond in their home.”
It’s unclear how the children even became available for adoption, but William told reporters that the best part about the adoption process is living with Papa and Gigi, their nickname for Karen. “It’s best to live with them,” he added, “I love living with them.”