LaTonya Ruff has spent the last seven years in and out of court proceedings trying to keep five siblings together. Now, she and her extended family can celebrate after making it official just in time for the holidays.
According to KSDK 5 News, Ruff made her last court appearance on Nov. 15. She was officially granted guardianship of two older boys after spending several years fighting to keep the siblings together.
“It took me seven years to get this family back together, getting them back one by one,” Ruff told the outlet.
The St. Louis native recalled how she developed a close relationship with the children. She used to babysit the siblings in 2012 and later opened a daycare after realizing she loved caring for children.
Shoutout to the women in our community. LaTonya (in the middle with her hair pulled back) has been working for several years to keep siblings together.
— #VeryAsian Michelle (she/her) (@MichelleLiTV) November 22, 2023
However, when the kids went into foster care, Ruff said no one contacted her.
Ruff decided she wanted to keep the siblings together after the older kids, Tiana, Trevione and Ashton, were featured in a news segment called “A Place to Call Home,” searching for a permanent living situation, per KDSK.
Ruff started the legal process to become an official guardian of the children. In 2022, she obtained guardianship of Tiana, and she had custody of Ashton and Trevion in spring 2023. She also adopted the two younger siblings, Dayton and Ky’La, and has known them since birth.
She adopted the two younger siblings and became an official guardian of the older ones out of respect. Meanwhile, Tiana, Ashton and Trevione kept their surname on legal documents as a nod to their parents, including their father, who passed away, according to KDSK.
The siblings will grow up together in the same home, all thanks to Ruff and her goal of keeping them united.
“I gave them their forever home, and I wouldn’t have it anything other way,” KDSK reported Ruff said. “It isn’t an easy job, and I knew it wouldn’t be, but the purpose behind it all makes it even more worth it. We are family.”