Single foster dad adopts 5 siblings to keep them together

Robert Carter, who was separated from his siblings in foster care years ago, didn’t want a group of brothers and sisters to experience the same thing — so he reunited the five children and then adopted all of them.

Robert Carter tells PEOPLE he was just 12 years old when he was placed in a foster home and separated from his eight siblings.

Realizing the emotional trauma that it caused him, Carter, now 29, refused to let that happen again and insisted on reuniting the three boys he became a foster parent to in Dec. 2018 with their two sisters.

After successfully bringing the quintette together, Carter recently took things a step further by adopting all five children as his own, ensuring that the siblings will have a chance to grow old together and forever be by each other’s sides.

“I can’t even begin to try to put it into words what it means,” Carter tells PEOPLE. “Just the fact that they’re together, the fact that they have something that will help them remember their past… it’s beautiful to watch them grow up together and make memories together.”

Carter began by fostering three boys.

Then he, the boys and their other siblings’ — two girls — came together to see each other for the first time in six months. The children and foster parents were all in tears, according to Hamilton County JFS Adoption & Foster Care Recruitment.

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Carter ultimately followed through on his word, and on Jan. 3, the Ohio man welcomed all five kids into his home. By Oct. 30, he had officially become their father, marking the end of a six-month adoption process.

In photos taken during the big day — one of which was shared on Hamilton County JFS Adoption & Foster Care Recruitment’s Facebook page — Carter and his kids all wore matching red and black attire as they smiled with their paperwork.

Kiontae Gillan, Carter’s partner who he has been separated from for close to three months, was also there in support as still helps care for the kids and is considered to be their “papa,” according to Carter.

“They’re some of the best kids I’ve had. Kiontae’s an energetic child, he’s my child who’s gonna question everything,” he explains. “Giovanni, that’s my sweet child. He’s like an old soul, he cuddles up to me and wants to help with everything.”

“Makayla’s sweet but really goofy. She loves to dance and loves everything girly,” Carter continues. “Robert, he’s a gaming kid. He’s really smart and wants to create games when he gets older. He’s really sweet also.”

As for Marionna, who Carter sees a lot of himself in as the oldest of the five, he says she is “extremely shy” but “in charge.”

“According to her, she wants to be a model, a hairstylist and a nurse,” he shares. “She’s the mother figure to the kids… but I won’t even let her make them a bowl of cereal [now] because that’s not her responsibility. She’s done it for too long when she shouldn’t have had to in the first place.”

The moment was also particularly special for Carter as it came a few years after his plans to adopt two foster kids, who had been living with him for a year and ten months, fell through just two months before the adoption.