CINCINNATI, OH (WNCN) — An Ohio man has went from single foster dad to a father of five.

Robert Carter, a man who grew up in foster care himself knew all too well of the tragedies of being separated from siblings. At 12, Cater came into foster care when his mom, unsupported and struggling with alcoholism, was incapable of caring for her children. He didn’t see some of his younger siblings for years.

Carter thrived and was granted custody of a younger sister and guardianship of a younger brother once he was emancipated. His memories motivated him to stand in the gap for his own family and for his new one.

He decided to change the path of a family of siblings by adopting all five of them so that they wouldn’t be separated.

It all started when Carter was fostering three boys. Carter, the boys and the other two siblings’ — which were girls — came together to see each other for the first time in six months. According to Hamilton County JFS Adoption & Foster Care Recruitment, the children and foster parents were all in tears.

Carter told the adoption agency in an interview that he had already been thinking about adopting them all, but this moment sealed the deal for him.

“I understand how they feel,” he said. “I understand what they went through, so it really touched me. I was already thinking about adopting all of the kids but when I saw them crying, I was like, ‘Ok, I’m going to take all five to keep them together.’ ” 

Carter said he is looking forward to creating a new future with his children — Marionna, Makayla, Robert, Giovanni and Kiontae. 

“Making memories to replace a lot of the bad ones,” he said. “Every night I talk to them and let them know, ‘I’m your dad forever. I know what it’s like and I’m always here for you.’ Like Marionna. She’s warmed up so much since the beginning. At first, she didn’t like me. She walked in my room last night and said, ‘I just want to say thanks for taking us in and taking care of us when our real mom couldn’t.’ It just really touched me.

“So just making memories, letting them know I’m here and they never have to go. I’m here for them no matter what.”