A regular Joe has become an overnight hero after adopting five siblings who faced being ripped apart after no other parents-to-be would accept them as a quintet.
Yet having experienced his own trauma of being separated from his siblings and put into care alone, Robert Carter knows all too well the importance of staying together.
Robert was just 12-years-old when he entered the foster care system in Ohio, America, and it wasn’t until years later that he was reunited with his younger sister and brother.
These events led to Robert signing the custody papers for his new brood – Marionna, 10, Makayla, 7, Robert Jr, nine, Giovanni, five, and four-year-old Kiontae – who had all been living separately across three foster homes.
Speaking about his decision, Robert says he struggles to put into words what it means but he instinctively knew it was the right move despite people telling him he was too young.
The 29-year-old told People magazine: “Just the fact that they are together, the fact that they have something that will help them remember their past. It is beautiful to watch them grow up together and make memories together.”
Robert also said he tells his brood every night that he is there to support them no matter what, saying: ‘I’m your dad forever. I know what it’s like, I’m always here for you.’
Prior to adopting the fivesome, Robert was already fostering the three brothers.
It was only when he arranged for them to have a play-date with their sisters via the girls’ foster mums that he realised how powerful their bond was.
In another interview with the Independent, Robert said: “The kids saw each other and started hugging and crying and wouldn’t let each other go.
“That was the moment I said, ‘Okay, I’m going to take all five.’”
Robert, along with his partner, have since set up a GoFundMe page to buy a home where the kids can grow and flourish to reach their full potential.
With their story having captured their native USA’s heart, the family are already closing in on their $150,000 (£114k) target with over $118k (£90k) at the time of publication.
The adoption was finalised on October 30, with Robert revealing just how elated he was.
He concluded: “I just cried because it was over and I didn’t have to worry about if they were going to be moved or would have to suffer anymore.
“I woke up the next day feeling relieved, at peace and blessed to have these kids.”
To donate to the forever home, click here: Carter Family