Parenthood
Grandparents with lots of love to give adopt 2 pairs of twins on the same day
Together, Karen and Tobias have seven children and 28 grandchildren. But they still had room in their hearts to give four siblings a forever home.
D.G. Sciortino
05.20.22

When Karen Thompson’s twin niece and nephew needed a home, she and her husband Tobias Johnson jumped in to make that happen.

They took in eighth-graders Wilnya and William over four years ago. That was only a year after the Ohio couple were married.

WCPO 9 - YouTube
Source:
WCPO 9 - YouTube

“They really had nowhere else to go,” Karen told Good Morning America.

The Thompsons later learned that the twins had two younger sisters, Sharnia and Sharleathea, that were also twins.

When they found out that those girls were in the custody of child protective services, Tobias suggested they take those twins in too.

WCPO 9 - YouTube
Source:
WCPO 9 - YouTube

“No sense splittin’ ‘em up. Keep ‘em all together,” Tobias Thompson told WCPO. “Show ‘em a lot of love. That’s all they need. Love.”

The girls had been going from foster home to foster home since they were either 4 or 5.

“They just needed somebody to hold onto them,” Karen said.

Before they officially fostered the female twins, they started bringing the girls over on weekends so everyone could get to know one another.

“When Sharnia and Sharleathea came here, they didn’t want to go back to the foster home,” Karen said. “I think they all needed to be around their siblings.”

The Thompsons were used to having a full house anyway with seven children between them from previous marriages.

They also have 28 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

“There are always kids at our house,” Karen shared with Good Morning America. “There’s never an empty house over here.”

WCPO 9 - YouTube
Source:
WCPO 9 - YouTube

The Thompsons officially adopted all four children in September 2021.

“They were very timid when they got here,” Tobias said. “They’ve been through a lot.”

But that’s no longer the case.

“Now you can’t get them to stop talking,” Karen said. “I think they all needed somebody to love them.”

WCPO 9 - YouTube
Source:
WCPO 9 - YouTube

And Hamilton County Judge Ralph Winkler knew the Thompsons were more than capable of providing their adopted children with love.

Along with food, shelter, clothing, and emotional support.

“You’re a great example of what parents should be,” Winkler told them.

WCPO 9 - YouTube
Source:
WCPO 9 - YouTube

Apparently, the love the Thompsons have is palpable.

“One of the things that stuck out to me is how much family is important to them,” Amber Sawyer, the couple’s Hamilton County Job & Family Services adoption caseworker, said. “You can just feel the love and the bond in their home.”

Winkler reminded the children that any of the most famous superheroes, like Superman and Batman, were adopted.

“You guys are more like Spiderman than anything,” Winkler told the children.

Like the children, Spiderman was also adopted by his aunt and uncle.

“It’s not easy,” Karen told WPCO. “But it’s not hard either. And if you’re got a lot of love, go ahead and give it to the children.”

The kids refer to the Thompsons as Gigi and Papa.

“I love my Gigi so much,” Sharnia said, “that I’ve been wanting to live with her since we got to her house.”

Learn more about this loving family in the video below!

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By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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