Buffalo’s Lamont Thomas, New York, has always been dedicated to improving the lives of needy children. He was able to improve the lives of not one child, but five on October 17. Over the past 19 years, the single father of seven has taken in hundreds of foster kids, but after the recent adoption of five daughters, ages 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1, Lamont can now proudly say that he is a father of 12.
This story really starts back in 2000, when a kind gesture towards friends sparked Lamont’s almost 20-year passion for helping children.
“In the beginning, I was helping out some friends. They had lost their child to the system,” Lamont told Good Morning America. “I went on and got certified and became a foster parent. I haven’t stopped since.”
That statement is 100% true — since 2000, Lamont has fostered more than 30 children and previously adopted five kids in addition to his two biological children, Anthony and LaMonica.
He initially adopted in 2007, when he welcomed twins Germayne and Tremayne to the family. Then came a third child, Jamie, and a fourth named German. After that, Lamont made the decision to adopt the first child he ever fostered: Michael.
“He was my third foster home and it ended up being my forever home,” 27-year-old Michael Thomas recalled. “He [knew] my biological parents.”
“Lamont never turned [a child] away,” Michael continued. “They either aged out or went back home to their own families.”
Since adopting Michael, Lamont actually thought that he was finished adopting children, but for a very special case, he recently came out of “retirement.”
Lamont’s oldest kids had moved out of the home, and some of his children had even started families of their own. But he wanted to get recertified as a foster parent with the intention of adopting when he found out about a new group of siblings that needed his help.
The children — Zendaya, 5, Jamel, 4, Nakia, 3, Major, 2 and Michaela, 1 — were the children of one of Lamont’s former foster kids.
“The kids ended up being taken into care — I believe it was due to neglect,” Lamont shared with Good Morning America. “They had them in four different homes, four different cities. They were separated for over a year-and-a-half.”
Last week, all of the hard work finally came together, when all five children were officially able to call Lamont “Dad.”
“I was fighting to keep back the tears,” he said as he talked of his adoption day with Judge Lisa Rodwin. “Every day I think about it, my eyes swell up. All that we endured to make this happen, it was something.”
Raising five kids 5 and younger certainly takes a certain amount of hard work and energy, but Lamont said he’s not worried about that at all.
“They bring new energy to me,” Lamont shared. “They’re lovable kids, very affectionate. They deserve to be raised as siblings, and that was my fight.”
Lamont’s daughter LaMonica said it was actually quite fun to grow up in such an eclectic family, and she praised her father for his big heart.
“It’s amazing he’s taking on all of them,” she told the morning show. “He does anything for everybody. He’s a really a great man.”
Michael added that taking care for children is his father’s “God-given call,” so if anyone could take on five children, it’s him.
“We’re all grown now. I can’t believe he’s started all over again,” his son shared. “Lamont has been a life-saver to me. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today, had Lamont not ventured in my life.”
Lamont said he hopes that other people who read his story will perhaps be inspired to foster, or even maybe adopt, themselves.
“I wanted to make a difference by being a difference,” he shared, “and I love what I do.