Over the last 20 years, Lamont Thomas has opened his home to dozens of foster children. And over the years, as a single foster parent, Thomas, who also has two biological children, adopted five others to call his own.
Thomas made the decision to become a foster parent in 2000 when he wanted to help out a friend who lost their child in the system. “I went on and got certified and became a foster parent. I haven’t stopped since.”
He told Good Morning America that he’s fostered more than 30 children. But it was when a family of five came to his door that Thomas’ life was going to change in a way he never imagined.
Thomas knew that he wanted to do something to make sure all five of the siblings had the opportunity to stay together. And that’s when Thomas made the leap from a dad of seven to a dad of 12.
The adoptions of 5-year-old Zendaya, 4-year-old Jamel, 3-year-old Nakia, 2-year-old Major, and 1-year-old Michaela were made final in Buffalo, New York on October 17. In an interview with Good Morning America, Thomas said they had all gone through so much in order to make this adoption day happen.
“I was fighting to keep back the tears. Every day I think about it, my eyes swell up. All that we endured to make this happen, it was something.”
Thomas became an adoptive parent for the first time in 2007 after he took in twins Germayne and Tremayne and another child, Jamie. Then, as Good Morning America reports, shortly after those adoptions, Thomas adopted a fourth child named German.
The single father then adopted a fifth child, Michael. Michael was Thomas’s first foster child and as Micheal revealed, Thomas was his third foster parent.
“He was my third foster home and it ended up being my forever home. He [knew] my biological parents. Lamont never turned [a child] away. They either aged out or went back home to their own families.”
And along with his biological children, Anthony and LaMonica, Thomas thought his blended family was complete. And it was for some time…
Thomas was actually retired from fostering when he learned about, Zendaya, Jamel, Nakia, Major, and Michaela. Most of Thomas’ children had grown up and moved out to start families of their own. He had no intention of starting all over again until he met this adorable family of five.
In fact, he learned about Zendaya, Jamel, Nakia, Major, and Michaela because they were the children of a child he fostered years ago. Thomas knew he had to help them out as well, so he got recertified and took the five children in, knowing all along he was going to adopt them.
“The kids ended up being taken into care — I believe it was due to neglect. They had them in four different homes, four different cities. They were separated for over a year-and-a-half. […] They bring new energy to me. They’re lovable kids, very affectionate. They deserve to be raised as siblings, and that was my fight.”
Two years later, Judge Lisa Rodwin made it official. And one of Thomas’ oldest, LaMonica, couldn’t be happier for her dad and her five new siblings. “It’s amazing he’s taking on all of them. He does anything for everybody. He’s a really great man.”
All Thomas wanted to do was “make a difference by being a difference” in a child’s life when he first made the decision to foster. And as Michael told Good Morning America, he wouldn’t be the man he is today if it wasn’t for the difference Thomas made in his.
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