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When you look at any family photo, everyone in the frame seems to be smiling. But sometimes looks can be deceptive, and we never truly know what goes on behind the scenes. Here's a boy who had the courage to interrupt the judge in court during his adoption hearing and revealed something jaw-dropping about his adoptive family.
On August 13th, 2018, Sara Cozad and her husband were sitting in court anxiously waiting for the judge's final decision on whether they could legally adopt their two foster children seated next to them. Then the judge asked, "You think they all agree that this adoption ought to go forward?" Usually, when a judge asks a question like this, no one expects anyone to say anything, but that wasn’t the case this time due to the older foster boy, Dayshawn. So, what exactly happened?
Seven years before their important day in court, Sara met her soon-to-be husband, Stuart Shank. Within 10 minutes of their first date, she told him that she had always wanted to become a foster mom. To her surprise, Stuart reacted well to the news. Perhaps inevitably, then, the two fell in love and got married. Almost as soon as they returned from their honeymoon, the couple set out to become foster parents.
At the time, Sara was just 23 years old, and she only really intended to foster babies and toddlers with her husband. After all, she was new to dealing with kids who were closer to her age. The newlyweds soon welcomed a 3-year-old boy into their lives, but they had no idea that the boy would change everything.
The couple were asked to take care of the boy, Michael, for only a weekend. But the couple were so fond of him. "That weekend turned into a week. And that week into months," Sara revealed. The peaceful life could have gone on until one day it was broken by another boy.
A few months after Michael came to the family, they were visited by Michael's brother, Dayshawn, who was from the same foster care center. The moment Michael saw his sibling, he sprinted to him and jumped into his arms. It was then that Sara realized how important it was to keep the two brothers together. She knew she had to do something...
The best way Sara could think of to stop the brothers from being separated again was to take in both of them. However, 10-year-old Dayshawn seemed a bit too old to be included in Sara's initial plans. After all, the foster mom was only 13 years older than Dayshawn. In addition, Sara and her husband were also occasionally looking after other children, which made the situation even more challenging. Sara hesitated...
After battling with herself in trying to decide what to do next, Sara finally came up with an idea. She wrote about how she felt at that time on her blog, "We advocate for reunification whenever it's possible. The best part about fostering is seeing parents work tremendously hard to get their children back." Knowing that reuniting the boys with their birth parents was more important than Dayshawn’s age, Sara decided to make an exception and applied to foster Dayshawn.
Sara knew that the boys deserved to be together in a safe and happy home, but fostering them was far from enough to ensure that because they still faced the risk of being separated. Besides, reuniting with their biological parents seemed a long way off. After spending a year together, Sara and her husband decided to take a giant step towards a legal adoption.
The two boys were more than excited about the idea of being reunited permanently. However, the adoption process was in no way easy. It took more time and effort than the couple had expected. After they had done all the things they could do, all they had to do next was wait.
Then it came to that day on August 13, 2018, when the judge would announce whether the couple was qualified to adopt the two foster boys. In court, Sara's family and their friends waited patiently for the verdict. Then the judge asked, "You think they all agree that this adoption ought to go forward?" Usually, when the judge asks a question like this, no one expects anyone to say anything, but that was not the case this time.
Not long after the judge finished speaking, out of nowhere, the older boy, Dayshawn, answered, "Yeah, they all love us." The unexpected reply made everyone in the courtroom laugh, but they didn't know that Dayshawn still had something else to get off his chest.
He continued, "We love them. Our whole family is the best thing we ever had. I'm glad to have these people in my life. I'm glad to be their son. They're the best thing I ever had." At this point, Sara couldn't control herself any longer and burst into tears. Yet, the young man was still not done...
"If I could wish for anything in the world, I would wish I could just love these people for the rest of my life," the teenager continued. At this moment, the entire court was filled with emotion. Everyone was thrilled to see such a beautiful moment. Needless to say, the adoption went smoothly as planned. But the story doesn’t end here.
As we know, adopting one child is hard enough, let alone adopting two at the same time. Many of Sara's friends thought she was crazy, but also wondered whether she would continue to take in more children. "No child should feel grateful to have a family love them," Sara wrote on her blog, "It should be a given." She firmly believed that every child deserves a family, and she wouldn't stop fostering kids in need until she helped as many as she could.