We love telling adoption success stories here on Wednesday's Child, and this one was less than a year in the making.
It was February of 2008, and we were at Lorenzi Park with a lively four-year-old named Austin. He had a smile and a laugh that was hard to resist and it turns out someone couldn't.
"The first time we saw Austin was on TV -- on Wednesday's Child. And I saw him and thought that was my son and there was a way that we had to get him home," says Ashley, Austin's new adoptive mother.
When we visited with Ashley and her husband Shane in Jul, at the time, they had completed the approval process for adoption and already had Austin living with them in the home.
"I knew the time would come where I'd be a father, and I couldn't ask for more," says Shane.
Actually, there was more, but it was all good. The "more" was a final visit to the courtroom. Last week, we were there when the judge gave his blessing to the adoption, and in the eyes of the court, Austin is now every bit the son his parents already claim him to be.
Later that day, we followed the family home as Austin hopped on his new bike to show off.
"We were absolutely shocked at how easy it was for us. But when things are just meant to be, they work out perfectly," adds Ashley.
And Austin seems perfectly content with the people who were meant to be his parents. Who knows, maybe the family will grow even more.
"Yes, we're talking about adopting again -- possibly a little girl. But we want to bond with him first," explains Shane.
Ashley and Shane say the rewards of adopting far outweigh the work it took to get there. Many more children are available. Call the local office of the Adoption Exchange now at 436-6335.