adoption pic - familyphoto-released

An adoption decades in the making finally became official in Texas last week at a Dallas courthouse.

92-year-old Muriel Clayton adopted 76-year-old Mary Smith, a woman she had raised as her own.

The two women are actually cousins – but after Smith’s father died when she was young, and her mother was unable to care for her, Clayton took in the teen as a member of her growing family.mingo-orphans-stick-together-familyphoto

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Clayton told Today that she’d always wanted to adopt Smith, but didn’t want to upset her biological mother, who had mental health issues. Once she passed, Clayton finally made her wish known.

On the day before Mother’s Day, she told Smith, “I’ve thought about really adopting you for real for a long time, how do you feel about that?’ And her face just lit up beautifully and she said that is the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard.”

(READ the full story, w/ photos, at TODAY) – Photo released by family

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