SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Nearly 20 years after being taken away from his loving foster family, a 32-year-old man is finally being adopted.
Maurice Griffin was reunited with the woman he has always considered to be his mother, and they've vowed to never be separated again.
With the swipe of a pen, a dream more than two decades in the making finally came true for Maurice and the woman he can now officially call mom: Lisa Godbold.
Abandoned by his real parents at age 3, Maurice came to live with Lisa, her late husband Charles and their two boys when he was nine years old. Less than four years later, Maurice was taken away based on Lisa's parenting style of using spanking and the state's rule against doing it to foster children.
"I completely agreed with my mom on how they planned on raising me and the system didn't agree with it. It was like being abducted from your family and being told to deal with it," Maurice said.
Maurice went on to live with several more foster families where he endured all forms of abuse before settling into a dozen or so group homes.
Then, in 2009, he received a message on the social networking site MySpace that changed his life.
"She said, 'This is your mom. Call me if you wanna talk.' I just didn't check my messages for a week," he said.
Maurice eventually called, and the two picked up right where they left off. A year later, he asked Lisa to adopt him.
"He's always been my son, but it just completes the circle and thanks to you, you're telling the story," Lisa said.
But it's not just the local media sharing their incredible and unique story. CNN has picked it up as well.
The mother-son pair welcome the attention, saying it brings awareness to the foster child system and gives people the same hope they never gave up on.
"I feel kind of overwhelmed, but I'm really happy inside," Lisa said.