Ohio couple becomes first-time parents by adopting 5 siblings
ABC News(CINCINNATI) — Julie and Will Rom of Cincinnati, Ohio, have been fostering children for nearly 10 years.
Julie Rom said she and her husband were never able to conceive a child of their own, so they decided to help children who were in need of care.
“We [said], ‘It’s not meant for us to be parents right now. Let’s foster and be the bridge for these kids while the parents get themselves together and eventually get themselves through reunifactions,'” Julie Rom said.
But late last month, the couple finally got a family of their own, adopting five siblings — William (Will), 12, Truth, 9, Marianna, 6, Keyora, 3, and KJ, 2 — who had been placed with them over the past three years.
“It was awesome, we actually had a very large adoption party on Saturday night,” Julie Rom, 33, told ABC News. “To me, they’ve been my kids. I don’t feel any different than I did this time last week. They’ve been waiting for this. It was more relief than anything.”
The Roms fostered children for long-term periods before meeting Will and Truth, the eldest of the group of 5 brothers and sisters, who were placed into foster care due to their previously unfit environment, according to Julie Rom.
“They were our first within their family in February 2014 when they were just 6 and 9 years old,” Julie Rom said. “Then Marianna came to us in December 2015 and then KJ and Keyora came to us July 2016.”
“We’ve always said that when we had children come into our home, we would never have them uprooted another time,” she added. “If the opportunity came along, that we would just keep them. It’s extremely important that they do stay together because they’ve lost so much from their past.”
On the morning of July 27, the adoption was made official in Judge Ralph Winkler’s courtroom at Hamilton County Probate Court. Family, friends and the kids’ teachers were present for the occasion.
“I am excited and happy for the Rom family and their future together,” Winkler told ABC News. “They changed 5 siblings’ lives forever by adopting them into a safe, loving and caring family. My greatest hope is that the Rom’s 5 adoptions will encourage more and more good people to adopt children.”
Ann Boyle, the former second-grade teacher of Will Rom, 12, was in the courtroom on adoption day. Boyle told ABC News that she was “elated” to witness the adoption being finalized.
“Julie and Will had so much love in their hearts the moment they took them in,” Boyle said. “There was a 180. [The kids] were smiling, they were talkative. I knew it was the right path for them. [Julie] got them into church she got them active in sports. There was no sadness in their eyes anymore. She treated them as their natural kids and I saw that from day one.”
Will, Truth, Marianna, Keyora and KJ, 2 all had their last names officially changed to Rom. Their parents also bought a larger house and SUV to accommodate their growing family.
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