At 92, Muriel Clayton has become a mother again, officially adopting her 76-year-old "daughter." The Dallas resident began caring for Mary Smith, her cousin, when Smith was only 11-years-old after her father passed away and her mother was too ill to raise her.
Clayton told The Huffington Post that she always wanted to adopt Smith, but never made it official out of respect for Smith's biological mother, who had been ill for years before she died.
But that all changed this year on the eve of Mother's Day. Clayton asked Smith if she would like to be adopted and Smith couldn't have been happier to say yes. "Her little face just lit up!" Clayton told WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas.
Clayton has four biological daughters of her own who grew up alongside Mary. "They never thought of her [Mary] as anything else but their sister," Clayton said. "Two of her younger sisters didn't even know they were not her natural sisters until they were older."
On Tuesday, the pair went to the Dallas County Court to make it official. "Then we went out to lunch and had a celebration with two of my granddaughters -- Mary's daughters," Clayton said. "We had a good time."
"I have worked jigsaw puzzles, and my life had been a beautiful picture. But one piece was missing, and that was Mary," Clayton told WFAA. "And now I've got that piece in place. Officially!"