Success Story: Derikie and Sade have found their forever family - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Success Story: Derikie and Sade have found their forever family

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A lot has changed for a local 16-year-old boy, since we first introduced you to him. Three years ago, when we featured Derikie on Adopt 8, he was hopeful, but not too confident that there would be a family willing to take him in. But the night his story aired, his future family was watching.

"I don't really strive big for anything, any family. I just hope that I don't live on the streets that's about it. That's the only thing I hope for," said Derikie.

We first met Derikie when he was 13-years-old. He was living in a facility and just grateful to have food and shelter.

"It's not the best place, but I'm just glad to have a roof over my head and staff there actually do care for you," continued Derikie.

Derikie's positive outlook on life, despite his difficult circumstances, instantly caught the attention of the couple that would soon become his parents.

"The first time I saw Derikie on News 8, I went running into the other room and I said, Steve, Steve, come look," said Mary Jo. "He just seemed like a neat kid with a great heart, he seemed real genuine and it was kind of one of those things. This is really cool, there's just something about this kid and I was willing to take a shot."

Willing to take a shot on a teenaged boy who didn't match the profile one bit, of the child Steve and Mary Jo had expected to adopt. They were targeting the age group of three to seven.

And as fate would have it, the family did end up getting their original wish too, when Derikie's biological sister, Sade, also became available for adoption.

"That was a no brainer. For him as soon as I saw her, I thought, there's the little baby I want. I had no idea, I was going to end up with her, that's just what happened," continued Steve.

So the five-year-old now has her big brother there to catch her, when she falls.

"I think it's important to have that family mix, I think it made everything easier because Sade being younger and having Derikie at the house, she had someone who she knew and that just made the whole transition really smooth. Not that we didn't have our ups and downs at first, but it, it definitely made it a lot easier," explained Steve.

Steve and Mary Jo say the adoptions classes they took through San Diego County really helped prepare them for parenthood.

"I think the advantage I had was not ever having kids. we wanted kids, but we had no expectations," said Steve. "We had no clue. So it was my own sense of new normal it was new normal, so it was kind of fun!"

And Derikie is really enjoying his new normal.

"I have freedom, a little more freedom and I can do sports now, which is fun," he said. "Hang out after school with friends and go to friends' houses, go to parties. Not those parties, just parties with parents there…those kind of parties."

And, Derikie's grades have improved tremendously:

"I left the center with a 0.07 GPA. Well, freshman year I had a 3.8," said Derikie.

His mom, is a middle school teacher, so education is a top priority.

"Although I don't like it, I appreciate the nagging," laughed Derikie. "Keeps you on track somewhat."

Derikie says he's grateful for the guidance, which he lacked most of his life. And what was once his greatest fear, ending up homeless at 18, is now a distant memory.

"It's helpful, you know, you have people you can depend on, people who can depend on you and they'll actually be there and won't leave and this and that," added Derikie. "I actually have a chance now, let's put it that way."

And Derikie's parents have also really seen him grow.

"Physically, about 70 pounds and 4 inches. He's really stepped up in his own. He has goals, he meets his goals, but he's kind of stayed the same guy," continued Mary Jo. "He's got a great heart and he is a lot of fun to be around."

A lifetime of love, in just two short years.

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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