Five St. Louis siblings sticking together in heartwarming adoption story

Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 6:27 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV) - About 20 families left the St. Louis County Courthouse in Clayton Saturday morning with new members of their families as part of the nationwide initiative ‘Adoption Saturday.’

“I’m just so happy it’s final,” Mary Thomas said. “No one can take (our kids) away from us.”

Thomas and her husband adopted two children and a teen, ages 4 to 15, after fostering the group for more than four years. The three have two other siblings, making for a total of five foster children. Thomas already has four biological children of her own at home and said her family wouldn’t be able to handle all five siblings.

“But, we didn’t want to keep them apart,” Thomas said. “So, we wanted to find the perfect person who would want two of them and add to their family.”

Thomas said she came across Jill Schmalz, who didn’t have any kids of her own. After fostering the two boys, Schmalz decided she wanted to seal the deal.

During the same court hearing, the Thomas’ adoption was finalized, and Schmalz’s petition to adopt the two siblings was approved.

“Just making sure they have sibling bonds and them being able to be together was important to us,” Thomas said. “They see each other, if it’s not on Facetime, we’re with each other twice a month, if not more. (Schmalz and I) talked about if either one of us would move, we talked about moving in a compound,” Thomas said.

“The system might be broken, and it took a long time, but this day makes it all worth it,” Thomas said.

John O’Sullivan, Communications Director for the 21st Judicial Court, said 30 kids and one adult were set to be adopted as part of the “Adoption Saturday” initiative.