Five Siblings Separated in Foster Care Reunited After Adoption in Texas

In a remarkable act of selflessness, Spring, Texas couple Thomas and Andi Bonura have adopted five siblings from foster care during the global pandemic.

The knock-on effects of the pandemic has had a great impact on services for children provided by the State. The need for foster care will grow as the pandemic continues. It's common for siblings in care to be placed in different homes and not have the opportunity to grow up together.

Jenifer Jarriel, CEO of DePelchin Children's Center, said to Newsweek: "Children in the child welfare system are always in need of adoption; this does not stop during a
pandemic and is even more vital during uncertain times like these."

However, five lucky brothers and sisters were recently brought back together by the Bonuras family, who said it was an "instant yes" when they were asked by Depelchin Children's Center if they would be the permanent legal guardians of all the children.

The Bonuras already have three children, including Joey who was born 15 weeks premature and has health difficulties. Joey was a twin, but sadly his twin didn't survive. The couple were told they wouldn't have other children, but they defeated the odds and later had two girls, before considering fostering.

"Around three years ago we thought it's time to open up our house," said Thomas Bonura to Fox 26 Houston. "We've been blessed with resources, the home and a support system around us, that it made sense to us."

The couple first fostered a newborn, who is now two years old, then two of his siblings, before finding out they were also related to older twin boys. The Bonuras got to know the older twin boys through visitations. "They were just precious and we loved them," said Andi Bonura.

After carefully considering the commitment involved in the decision to adopt, Thomas said they decided to take a "leap of faith."

"We're going to be outnumbered here, but the commitment in our mind was a no brainer," said Thomas.

The couple transports their eight kids around in a 12-seater mini-van, meaning they have two more seats if they ever wanted to adopt again.

"A lot of people are interested in the idea of fostering, they come to the idea thinking it's going to be too hard or emotional. It absolutely is too hard and emotional, but it's worth every single feeling. I have no regrets for any of it," said Andi.

Holding hands.
File photo of holding hands. Texas family adopts five children during global pandemic. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Depelchin Children's Center is delighted they were able to place the children in such a caring family, a spokesperson explained to Newsweek. "The Bonura family's adoption is a story of love, hope and perseverance. Sibling reunification is always a goal of the child welfare system as sibling bonds are amongst the strongest bonds children have. We are incredibly grateful to the Bonura's for reuniting these five siblings and creating permanence in their safe and loving home," said Jarriel.

The pandemic has slowed the approval of people as foster parents for many reasons, including restrictions on social worker home visits. Calls to support hotlines have surged during the pandemic and welfare systems are inundated with a back-log of child-welfare cases. In addition, states are having budget issues as a result of financial strains caused by COVID-19.

"Providing a safe space for children who have experienced trauma is part of the healing process. We need more families like the Bonuras and the many families across the world who open their hearts and homes to children in need of love and support," said Jarriel. There are many ways to help if a person cannot foster or adopt and we encourage people to seek agencies like DePelchin within their communities to find out how to support local children in the child welfare system."

This story has been updated with a quote from Depelchin Children's Center.