Eric Thomas opens up about his adoption - | WBTV Charlotte

Eric Thomas opens up about his adoption

Eric Thomas and his family (Photo provided by Eric) Eric Thomas and his family (Photo provided by Eric)
(WBTV) -

WBTV Chief Meteorologist Eric Thomas has alerted viewers to severe weather for twenty-eight years. He is passionate about forecasting. But I learned soon after meeting Eric 12 years ago, Eric is passionate about adoption.  Eric recently opened up about his own adoption in his first sit-down interview on the topic.

He described the moment he found out from his mom he was adopted. He was about 7-years-old.

“She called me up to the kitchen and she said, ‘Hey I just wanted to tell you something.’ I said, ‘Sure what is it?’ She says, ‘Did you know you were adopted?’ And I said, ‘No.’

She wanted to know if Eric even understood the word.

“She says, ‘Well it just means you didn’t come from my belly.’ I said, ‘Oh! OK. Can go back and play with my Hot Wheels now?’ And that was it. That was the end of it.”

PHOTOS OF ERIC: Click here to see photos of Eric Thomas through the years

“My story, in one respect, isn't as dramatic as a lot of the stories the children in our community are dealing with. My adoption took place through a family connection,” Eric told me.

All he knows about his birth mother is she was 18-years-old, unmarried, a sophomore in college and pregnant in 1960.

“My birth mother had to probably decide whether she needed to own that mistake and she decided she was going to own it. But there were a lot of consequences that she had to go through to give me my chance,” Eric said fighting tears.

Eric was adopted by his parents in Pennsylvania and grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburg.  Eric went to Penn State where he earned his degree in meteorology. He wanted to use that degree to help him become a Navy pilot, but that dream was dashed when Eric failed the physical. It was time, as Eric puts it, to hit the ‘reset’ button.

A rock band wasn’t exactly what Eric’s parents were hoping for, but once he got that out of his system, Eric’s passion for science and weather lead him to television as a meteorologist. Eric's first stop, Steubenville Ohio. 

“The good thing about that video is if somebody out there wants to be on TV and they watch that video, they will look at that video and say ‘If Eric Thomas can do it so can ANYBODY CAN DO THIS!’ It's that bad!” We have a good chuckle about that.

Eric and his wife Vickie chose Charlotte to raise their family. We watched as they brought home three beautiful babies. Viewers have seen the kids grow up.

Eric hopes other kids waiting for families will find the kind of love he found as a child, and now shares with his family. That is why Eric is lending his voice and his own experience with adoption to help Children’s Home Society in North Carolina.

Last year the Children’s Home Society, or CHS, helped one hundred and sixty-nine kids find their forever families. In the Charlotte area, 40 young people were adopted, thanks to the efforts of CHS.

Eric Thomas is featured in a new public service announcement about CHS. He wants to put a familiar face on what is a critical need.

Right now, there are 10,500 kids in foster care in North Carolina.  That is a twenty-five percent increase from five years ago. Twenty-four hundred of those children are eligible for adoption.

“I have experienced some of these children that are waiting for homes. I'm telling you these are bright, fun, talented, young human beings and they are so deserving of a home and the opportunities that someone gave me,” Eric told me.

Eric says that no part of his life is unfulfilled as the child of adoption.

“People ask me, ‘Don't you want to know your birth mother? Did you ever try to find her?’ And the answer is, ‘No I haven't because my life is so complete because of her. My life is fulfilled because of her. This is the path my birth mother wanted me on,” he said.

“If someone said to me, ‘Is there something that you would want your birth mother to know, what would it be?’ I would just want her to know that her dreams came true for me. That would be it,” he managed through stifled tears.

The Children’s Home Network wants you to consider giving a child the kind of love that helped shape Eric’s life. If you have a place in your heart for adoption, you can visit www.chsnc.org.

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