Lamont Thomas is a single dad, having adopted almost a dozen children and fostering more than 30. But this month was an especially momentous occasion for the Thomas family: he adopted five siblings in order to make sure they were able to stay together, after fighting for almost three years to adopt them.
Thomas, who lives in Buffalo, New York, is excited to give the kids, ages 4, 3, 2 and 1, the bright future that they deserve. “I fought for close to two and a half years just to be able to get them together, and we won, we got it,” Thomas said to WGRZ. “I wanted to be the difference, make a difference by being a difference for these youth.”
The adoption ceremony was a festive affair, complete with balloons; Thomas and his new sons were clad in dapper suits, while his adorable daughters wore matching satin dresses and tiaras. Everyone in the courtroom cheered as the judge announced they were officially adopted. Thomas, meanwhile, wiped away tears with a handkerchief.
People like Thomas can make a huge difference in the lives of at-risk children. Guy Bryant, another New York single foster dad, has fostered over 50 young men, seeking out the older children so many other families are not willing to take. But without people like Thomas or Bryant in their lives, these foster children are much more likely to struggle in life.
“Unfortunately, what happens with youth that are in foster care, they carry that with them a lot of times and then they have no place to go and they end up in the shelters,” Bryant explained. “Our kids can’t make it in the shelters. It’s a struggle for them. […] Most of the kids, they can’t admit who they are. Their identity is lost somewhere between the home they’ve lived in and the other 10 foster homes they might have lived in.”
Over 400,000 children are currently in foster care across the country. Without a good family, whether through fostering or adoption, these children are at serious risk; a quarter will end up homeless, and 27 percent of males and 10 percent of females will spend time in prison at least once. And this is exactly why people like Thomas are so needed: to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children who need their love and help the most.
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