The future for a 16-year-old boy named Shawn was uncertain when we first met him two years ago.
Shawn, who has Down Syndrome, was living in a group home and though the staff took good care of him and loved him, Shawn didn't have a family to be there for him long-term. Well now, all of that has changed. Here is Shawn's success story.
We first introduced you to Shawn in August of 2010. Shawn was 16-years-old with less than two years to go before aging out of the foster care system. Time was running out.
But as it turned out, the timing of his quest to find a forever family could not have been more perfect.
Stacy and Lance, who have three biological children, decided the time was right to expand their family through adoption.
"Originally I was not looking for a teenager, but my daughter wanted to look at the teenagers to see about teenage girls, and his picture popped up first," said Stacy.
They saw Shawn's picture on the County of San Diego's website, then watched his Adopt 8 story online.
"My daughter called us over, ‘mom look, look at his eyes, he has Down Syndrome,'" continued Stacy. "And that was our passion anyways to find a special needs child, so it just all went from there. It just went really fast. God was great."
Seventeen-year-old Meaghan says she knew from the moment she saw Shawn's picture that Shawn belonged with them.
"He's such a bright kid and you could tell in his face, you looked at his picture and he was just, you could tell he was really happy," Meaghan explained.
Fifteen-yea-old Kory, who also has special needs, agrees, they knew from the online description, Shawn was a perfect match.
"I was like, hey that's just like me when I was young. He loves music, he loves to eat and he loves to play games. I was like, that's my perfect brother," said Kory.
And 12-year-old Matthew says welcoming Shawn home as part of their family has been life-changing.
"Shawn, since he's been in our family, our family has come together more and Shawn just likes to play around and he's really joyful all the time," Matthew added. "He makes your life even better when you're hanging around him."
Shawn's speech and vocabulary are now much improved, and his family can understand most of what Shawn is trying to say.
And as Shawn was interviewing them for me, you could tell he is just as proud of them as they are of him.
Shawn, who's now 18, has lost 20 pounds just being a part of this active family. Healthier and clearly extremely happy just look at that smile with his loving parents, big sister and two brothers.
"It's a big responsibility to take on, but I tell you what, once we brought him into our household it's like we should have had it all along," Lance said.
And if you're interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U. To meet other children in foster care and discover how you can help restore their hope, please click here.
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