TIPP CITY, Ohio (WDTN) — More than 190 children in Montgomery County are waiting to be adopted. Two-thirds of children in foster care in the United States have a sibling in care, but sibling groups make up the largest number of “harder to place” children still waiting for families.

“Family means forever to me. It means you forever have that bond that isn’t going to go away,” said Cassandra Ringo.

After Ringo and her husband Josh discovered they weren’t able to have kids biologically, they began to look at other options and decided to become foster parents. They met Jai’cion, 8, and Taimire, 6, in February 2019. While the boys were visiting their mother, they found out she was expecting and the Ringo’s were asked to foster Delia, 2, who was born in November 2019.

“She is the most carefree, happy-go-lucky kid,” Ringo said.

Of the 192 children awaiting adoption in Montgomery County, 72 are part of a sibling group. Adoption specialists said those children face more challenges finding a forever home, but there are benefits to keeping them together.

Research suggests that siblings placed together experience a lower risk of failed placements, fewer moves, and many emotional benefits. They also feel more secure and are able to help each other adjust to their new family and community.

“If I didn’t live with this family, I wouldn’t have another chance to fix my life like I did when I came here,” Jai’cion said.

Kelcie Paxson, an adoption supervisor with Montgomery County Children’s Services said “it helps negate some of the adoption issues that arise, such as feeling isolated, or feeling a lack of relationship for their birth family, or being lost.”

The Ringo’s found this to be true when they finalized their adoption with Jai’cion, Taimire, and Dalia in mid-December.

“Mom cried happily. We had been waiting a long time. Me and my mom really wanted to have it done,” Jai’cion said.

To learn more about adoption, reach out to the Montgomery County adoption/fostering information line. Call 224-KIDS (5437), then choose prompt #5 to reach a person with answers to get you started, or sign up for a three-hour informational meeting on adoption and foster care.