DALLAS, TX -- For decades they've had an unbreakable bond, but they made it legal. At age 92, Muriel Clayton adopted 76-year-old Mary Smith.
The pair loves to share laughs, and seamlessly tell each other's stories, which have intertwined since Mary was 11. She knew Muriel as her fun older cousin, but family tragedy changed the dynamic.
"Her father passed away and her mother was ill, so she was not able to take care of Mary," Muriel said.
Without hesitation, Muriel took her in adding to her own growing family, and Mary has been one of the kids ever since.
But over the next 60 years, Muriel held a secret dream to make Mary a legal part of the family. But out of respect, she wouldn't do it until Mary's biological mother, who'd been sick for years, passed away. It was this year, a day before Mother's Day, when Muriel had Mary over.
"I said I have been thinking about adopting you, what do you think about that? And her little face just lit up," Muriel said.
On Tuesday, June 9, inside Dallas County Court, they formally became mother
Mary is 76, and Muriel is 92, and they've spent most of those years together. Now the record will show what Muriel's known all along.
"I have worked jigsaw puzzles and my life had been a beautiful picture. But one piece was missing and that was Mary. And now I've got that piece in
place. Officially!" Muriel said.