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At the adoption finalization, Ian could hardly contain himself

February 10, 2015

Ian H finalization

When Ian attended another youth’s adoption party, he felt left out.

Tara Shepherd, Youth Villages counselor, pulled Ian aside to talk.

“He told me he was thinking about all of the places he had lived,” Tara said, “and how everyone just gives him away.”

Tara’s heart ached for Ian. In his 10 short years, he had endured much loss, abuse and neglect. Ian needed a forever home.

“I knew then that no matter what it took, I would see him adopted,” Tara said.

A few months later, Ian was introduced to Jonathan and Leah. The couple instantly knew Ian was meant to be a member of their family. Ian was with Jonathan and Leah for only seven months before they finalized his adoption.

Friends, family and Ian’s Youth Villages team attended his adoption finalization. Two YV staff members even left in the middle of the night to arrive in time to witness it.

“I had never seen a more excited and happy young man than Ian was that day,” said Jenna Fulcher-Thompson, Youth Villages adoption specialist. “Watching Jonathan and Leah approach the judge, Ian could not contain himself as he smiled and waved his hands in the air.”

Thanks to everyone who worked closely with Ian through his adoption process, he is now surrounded by the love and support of a permanent family. Youth Villages staff consider Ian’s placement to be a perfect match.

“I am so overjoyed for Ian and his forever family,” Tara said. “He will forever be in my heart.”

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