“Fostering children is something that Julie and Wilrom of Cincinnati, Ohio, have been doing for almost 10 years now. Julie ROM shared that she and her husband were unable to produce a child of their own. So instead, they chose to devote their time and energy to assisting other people’s children who were in need of care.
“We came to the conclusion that being parents at this time was not in the cards for us. Let’s provide a home for these children and serve as a bridge for them while their parents work on reconciling their differences and finding a path toward reunification,” said Julie.
But towards the end of the month, the couple officially became a family of their own when they adopted five children who had been placed with them over the course of the previous three years. The children were as follows: William (or Will) age 12, Truth age 9, Mariana age six, Cara age 3, and 2-year-old KJ.
Julie Rahm, 33 years old, commented to ABC news that it was amazing, adding, “We actually had a pretty huge adoption celebration on Saturday night. I’ve always thought of them as my children. I haven’t noticed any significant shifts in my physical state since last Saturday. At this time, they’ve been holding out for this moment. It was a relief more than anything else.”
According to Julie Rahm, Will and Truth were the eldest of the group of five brothers and sisters who were brought into foster care as a result of their previous inadequate environment.
Prior to meeting Will and Truth, the ROMs had fostered children for extended periods of time. Julie Rahm spoke of her two children, “They were our first within our family in February 2014 when they were just six and nine years old. Later on in December of 2015, Mariana joined our family, and then KJ and Kira joined our family in July of 2016.
We’ve always vowed that when we had children come into our family, we would never have them uprooted again, and we’ve stuck to that promise. But if the chance presented itself, we would just keep them. In the event that it came up because of the many things that have been taken away from them in the past, it’s vitally crucial that they remain together,” she added.
When the judge asked one of the girls, Torah, about her opinion of her foster father, as a joke, she said, “I’ve never felt that he’s my foster father. I only felt that he was my real father. I wouldn’t choose a better one for us if it was up to me.” Those words made everyone in the courtroom emotional.
On the morning of July 27th, in the courtroom of Judge Ralph Winkler at the Hamilton County Probate Court, the adoption was finalized and made official. The celebration was attended by members of the children’s families, close friends, and their respective educators. According to Winkler, in an interview with ABC news, “I am excited and happy for the ROM family and their future together.
They permanently altered the lives of five siblings by adopting them into a family that provided them a secure, loving, and caring environment. My greatest wish is that the adoptions of the children from ROM’s 5 would inspire an even greater number of kind people to become foster parents or adopt children,” he added.
On the day of the adoption, Will ROM, now 12, saw his old second-grade teacher, Ann Boyle, who was present in the courtroom.
Boyle expressed to ABC news that she was elated to be present during the finalization of the adoption. Boyle stated that Julie and Will were filled to the brim with love from the minute that they took the children in. “There was an about-face. The children had happy expressions on their faces and were chatty. I had no doubt that this was the best option for them,” Boyle continued.
Will, Truth, Mariana, Cara, and KJ all received the official change to their surname to ROM to make room for their expanding family. Their parents invested in a larger home as well as an SUV.
Also in a similar story, an Ohio dad adopted five siblings from Foster Care. One year has passed since Robert Carter formally welcomed five Foster siblings into his home and heart. And although the 30-year-old Ohio parent, who’s unmarried, says it’s been a crazy year, he tells people he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Carter says of his children, who also include daughters Mariana and Michaela and sons Robert (almost 10) and Giovanni (6) and Chianti (5), as well as sons, “It’s really amazing to be able to watch them grow together. They’re becoming closer now. They snooze in one another’s rooms while watching movies together,” he adds. “They merely encourage me now. Before I do anything, I consider them and how they will influence them. I stay on the street and narrow because of that.”
Carter hopes that people may think about adopting children because of this, especially as National Adoption Day, which falls on November 20th, draws near. He adds, “I feel like they should stand up and do it as long as they have the love in their hearts, the time, and the money to take care of these kids who need permanent homes. As long as it’s in your heart for the right reasons, whatever’s in your heart must be meant for you to do.”
After being split up from his own eight siblings at age 12, Carter, a foster child himself, felt he had to bring the group back together. Carter began looking for their sisters while caring for the three boys in December 2018 and brought them back together in June 2019 after a grueling six-month separation. “They all sobbed the first time they saw each other after six months,” said Cincinnati Salon owner Carter. “After that, I knew they should be together forever.”
Carter welcomed all five children into the house in January 2020, and on October 30th of the same year, he became their legal father, capping a six-month adoption procedure.
Carter claims that the family has spent the last year concentrating on creating memories, which includes getting two dogs, relocating to a bigger house in Cincinnati, holding Halloween parties, and starting a YouTube channel. The kids have also been very busy pursuing their interests in dance, gymnastics, cheerleading, and TikTok videos, as well as excelling in school and participating in extracurricular activities.
“Halloween is actually our favorite holiday,” said Carter. “So I informed them we could just throw a party on the day of their adoption. We must now hold a huge Halloween celebration on the occasion of our anniversary every year, as Mariana forced me to pledge. So this year, we had a great party. They wanted to use YouTube as well, so we created a channel.”
He continues, “To commemorate our one-year anniversary, we launched it to show the kids our new house. In the first video, Carter acknowledges that, while these times as a family have been tremendously great, they’ve also been bittersweet. He says, “To see them together really melts my heart. However, it also causes me to consider how much their biological parents are missing.”
“The day after serving three years in prison, their mom did come out to me,”
he claims. “Hey, I’d like to visit my kids as soon as possible,” she said. “I informed her that before we even discussed letting her see the kids, I need to know that she’s been sober for at least a year or two,” he continues. “Because that message basically let me know that she’s not ready. I’m open to it if she wants a relationship with them and they want a relationship with her, but only if she’s carrying out her mandate.”
Looking ahead, Carter says his family hopes to travel to Disney World around Christmas and will host Thanksgiving at their home with their extended family. “We weren’t able to go to Disney to celebrate the adoption because of COVID. We might have to go this Christmas so that we can share that experience. It’ll be wonderful for them to spend Christmas outside of town and somewhere warm because they haven’t actually traveled much.”
Carter claims that despite having a lot on his plate right now, he’s learned a lot in his brief 30 years of life and more significantly in his job as a father. “I just take it one day at a time. I had to develop a little more patience with my children than I did at first simply because they weren’t my biological children and had already formed their own opinions.
The fact that they’re not my biological children means I cannot expect them to behave or have the same disposition as myself,” he continues. “They do have some problems that I have to work on them with, but my kids are what keep me going on the worst days. Who else is going to care for them or provide for them if I don’t? As a parent, you believe that only you can provide for your children’s needs. They help you remain focused.”