12 Heartwarming Adoption Stories That Made Us Teary-Eyed

YouTube, Ineffable/ABC News
For those lucky enough to grow up in a safe and loving home with biological parents, we often can't imagine the opposite. While we may struggle to put ourselves in the shoes of others, we can probably agree that everyone deserves to have a family who loves and cares for them. Today we've gathered some of the most heartwarming and emotional adoption stories to ever grace the internet. Read on to hear about some of the amazing families that have decided to adopt, how they surprised their loved ones, and how adoption has changed their lives for the better. Let us know in the comments which stories got you all choked up!

12. Foster Parents Film Girl's Sweet Reaction To Adoption News

YouTube, Love What Matters

Shailee was in the car with her foster parents and foster brother after a normal day of school when she was told some news that would completely change her life.

When Jessica Frank met Shailee for the first time, she was being fostered by Jessica’s parents. Jessica’s husband wasn’t too keen on the idea of fostering at first, but when he too met Shailee, that all changed.

The couple started the adoption process that night and soon enough, Shailee moved in with them and their son. While the couple did break the news of the adoption approval to the kids, they decided to keep the official adoption date a secret. Shailee was in for a very special surprise!

The couple picked the kids up from school on what seemed to be a normal day, however, they weren’t driving home – they were headed to court so Shailee can officially be a part of their family.

Jessica knew she had to start filming to catch Shailee’s reaction to the news so she whipped out her camera just in time for her husband to tell Shailee where the family was headed.

“Really?! You’re lying!” Shailee exclaimed, mouth agape, clearly in disbelief that the moment she’s been waiting for was finally happening. She immediately breaks down into tears when Jessica confirms that yes, they are headed to the courthouse. I think even the strongest people will tear up watching this moment.

Watch Shailee’s reaction to her adoption news in the video below.

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11. Marine Stepfather Hides Adoption Papers In Surprise Gift For Stepdaughter

YouTube, Happily

12-year-old Ariane Yocum thought she was just receiving a new sports travel bag from her stepdad Drew Yocum. Ariane is already impressed by the gift but little does she know what surprise awaits inside.

Drew has been in Ariane’s life since she was two. The Marine married Ariane’s mother after completing boot camp and has been a father figure for her ever since.

Though he always considered Ariane to be his daughter, he decided it was about time to make things official.

Since Drew is also Ariane’s volleyball and basketball coach, receiving a travel bag from her volleyball team didn’t raise any suspicion. The gift seems normal enough at first. After opening the bag and rummaging through several pairs of socks, Ariane exclaims that “it’s like Christmas!” And then she pulls out some papers.

Confused at first, it doesn’t take her long to figure out what they’re for. The look on her face is priceless when she realizes her stepdad wants to adopt her.

Drew explains that he wanted to wait until Ariane was old enough to go through the process so she can legally sign the adoption papers – leaving the ultimate choice up to her. “If you want to do this, then you have to sign it,” Drew explains. Of course, Ariane is all too eager for Drew to officially become her dad. How sweet!

Check out how Drew presented his stepdaughter with adoption papers in the video below.

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10. 10-Year-Old Breaks Down Into Tears Over Adoption Surprise

YouTube, Ineffable

10-year-old Ivey Zezulka is presented with a birthday gift by her foster parents Paige and Daniel. Maybe she’s expecting a toy or a new pair of shoes, but she’s certainly not expecting the life-changing news found inside.

Ivey, who had spent the last three years in foster care, takes a frame out of the box and exclaims, “I’m going to be adopted?!” She then immediately breaks down into tears as if saying those words proved to her that her wish is finally coming true.

Her soon-to-be adopted parents embrace her proving that love truly is the best gift of all.

And if you thought it couldn’t get any better, Paige reveals that Ivey’s biological siblings, Kai, 3, and Lita, 2 are also getting adopted! Now a family of five, the Zezulkas have quite the journey ahead of them but we’re sure they’re going to enjoy and cherish every minute of it.

Check out Ivey’s emotional reaction to her birthday gift in the video below.

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9. 11-Year-Old Orphan Is Reunited With Host Family To Finalize Adoption

YouTube, Inside Edition

11-year-old Sebastian, an orphan from Columbia, spent the summer in California with a host family – the Barkeys. The couple, JoBen and Amanda, along with their four children embraced Sebastian into their home for the short time period. They say all good things must come to an end, but the Barkeys weren’t ready to say goodbye to Sebastian quite yet.

Unbeknownst to Sebastian, the Barkeys were hoping to adopt him – a secret they had to keep per hosting rules. Though difficult to keep such a secret and heartbreaking to say goodbye at the end of the summer, it was all about to be worth it. Sebastian was coming home.

Just a few weeks after Sebastian left, the couple broke the news to their kids that they were adopting Sebastian so he can become a permanent part of their family.

The kids were overjoyed and together the family gathered on video call to tell Sebastian the good news. He was speechless.

The family hopped on a plane to Columbia where they were reunited with Sebastian. The kids immediately ran to embrace him as their parents struggled to contain their tears of joy. What was supposed to just be a summer turned into a lifetime.

Take a look at the emotional reunion between Sebastian and his host family in the video below.

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8. Daughter Hides Adoption Papers In Stepdad's Birthday Gift

YouTube, Storyful Viral

Misty has been raised by her stepdad Ryan Farrell since she was in the second grade. She’s always called him “dad” but he hasn’t officially held the title – until now.

For Ryan’s birthday, Misty handed him a red box and instructed him to read the card attached out loud. Ryan started reading off multiple fond memories the two have had together over the years.

The note ends by saying that the gift is “bigger than Batman v Superman” to which Ryan responds, “whoa.” Yep, Ryan is in for a huge surprise.

He first uncovers a Batman v Superman onesie (keeping on theme here!), then some candy, and finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Ryan is speechless as he pulls out the one thing he’s always wanted – adoption papers. Although he’s always been Misty’s dad, he now proudly has the documents to prove it.

Check out how Misty’s surprise for her dad unfolds in the video below.

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7. Foster Parents Decide To Adopt Five Siblings

YouTube, Inside Edition

Julie and Will Rom were never able to conceive any children of their own. Although there are many options for fertility treatment, the couple decided they wanted to provide a home for children who needed one. “Why would we pay somebody to bring a child into this world when there are so many children who need help,” Julie says.

So, after 10 years of fostering kids from seven different families, the Roms became parents to five biological siblings who had been with them for three years. The kids, ages ranging from 2-12, don’t have to be worried about being separated from one another ever again. The foster parents couldn’t fathom splitting the siblings up and when asked if making the decision to adopt them all at once was difficult, Will replied, “no, there was never a second guess.”

Friends and family showed up to court to celebrate the uniting of the new family. Although it’ll be a bit of an adjustment, the Roms are so excited to provide the siblings with a safe and loving forever home.

Watch the incredible story of how a couple decided to adopt five siblings in the video below.

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6. Birthday Girl Receives The Gift Of A Lifetime – To Be Adopted By Her Stepmom

YouTube, Daily Mail

It’s time for birthday girl Hayley to open her last present. She’s surrounded by family and friends, complaining why she’s “always the center of attention.” Little does she know the surprise that awaits her.

Hayley’s stepmom kneels down with the final gift of the party. The gift reveals to be a necklace from Claire’s that reads “My daughter holds my heart.” The birthday girl’s stepmom then tearfully explains how Hayley will always be in her heart and hands her her birth certificate.

On the back, Hayley reads that her stepmom’s petition for her adoption has been granted! I doubt there was a dry eye at the party after seeing Hayley’s sweet reaction to hearing the news. Hayley’s “I love you mom,” says it all.

Take a look at the video below to see the heartwarming moment.

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5. Couple Struggling For Years To Start A Family Is Introduced To Their Adopted Son

YouTube, Inside Edition

Cary and Ryan Ray struggled for seven years to start a family. That was all about to change with one very special boy.

The couple from Texas struggled to conceive and turned to fertility tests and surgery but nothing proved successful. “As a woman, you’re designed to be able to carry children and for whatever reason, I couldn’t,” Cary said getting all choked up.

With the hope of having a biological child dwindling, the couple considered adoption. They started the process in 2013, waiting anxiously for their phones to ring with good news. Well, in 2015, the good news came. A little boy named Beau in Taiwan was in need of a loving family and home.

It was finally time for the Rays to fly down and meet Beau at the orphanage. The couple couldn’t contain their tears when their new son was brought to them. Years of pain and heartache melted away as soon as the little boy was brought into their arms. “This is the moment we’ve been waiting for,” Ryan said. Cary and Ryan now get to live their lives without the “what ifs” – they finally feel whole.

Watch Cary and Ryan meet their long-awaited son in the video below.

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4. 13-Year-Old Gives Speech Thanking His Foster Parents During Adoption Hearing

YouTube, Good Morning America

13-year-old Dayshawn Shank decided to show his love and appreciation to his foster parents, Sara Cozard and Stuart Shank during his adoption hearing.

Sara and Stuart, who had fostered 14 children, also fostered Dayshawn and his little brother Michael. They enjoyed their time so much with the boys that they decided they wanted to make things more permanent.

So in 2018, the brothers entered the courtroom with Sara and Stuart so they could officially be a part of their family.

In the middle of the adoption hearing, Dayshawn gave a speech in front of the judge testifying his love for his new parents. “They’re just really the best thing I ever had. If I wish for anything more, I just wish that I could love these people for the rest of my life,” he said. Cue tears from the entire courtroom! Is that not the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard?

Watch Dayshawn’s emotional speech in the video below.

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3. Two Adopted Brothers Receive Birthday Cakes For The First Time

YouTube, ABC News

Brothers Abraham and James have the sweetest reactions to receiving their very first birthday cakes.

The boys from Sierra Leone were homeless before being adopted by the Walker family. The brothers became US citizens so they could officially join the now family of eight. As they never had the chance to celebrate their birthdays like so many kids their age, the Walker family made sure to film the milestones.

Abraham was the first to celebrate his birthday, breaking down in tears after “happy birthday” was sung and a cake full of candles was brought out. “Make a wish!” the family exclaims as Abraham abandons his cake to run and hug his mom. Aw!

A month later, James got his turn. He seemed to have the opposite reaction of Abraham, laughing as his cake was brought out, almost as if in disbelief that people get cakes to celebrate themselves! He too rushes to hug his mom before getting a chance to blow out the candles.

I mean, who needs to make a wish when they’ve already come true?

We often take for granted the little things – like blowing out birthday candles. But for Abraham and James, this was definitely a moment neither one of them would ever forget.

Watch the sweetest reactions to receiving a birthday cake in the video below.

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2. Teacher Adopts Student Who Spent 1445 Days In Foster Care

Facebook, ABC7

Nine-year-old Loralie spent half her life in foster care but that was all about to change thanks to one very special teacher.

Loralie’s second-grade teacher Zoe Henry was a single mom with no plans of adopting. However, the minute Zoe set her eyes on the foster child, she knew she was meant to be Loralie’s mom.

At the time, Loralie was being fostered by another family but when adoption plans fell through, Zoe begged the child’s social worker to bring Loralie home.

Loralie, having been moved from home to home for so many years was thrilled that her teacher was opening her home to her. “It was actually really scary,” Loralie recounts of her time in foster care.

She pondered whether there was anyone out there who wanted her – a fear that went away when she met Zoe, who she now calls “mom.”

Two years later and after 1445 days in foster care, Loralie was adopted by Zoe on national adoption day. The two made a sign to commemorate the day – surely a moment in both of their lives that they’ll always be grateful for and never forget.

Check out how a teacher became the loving parent of her student in the video below.

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1. Three Brothers Are Adopted By Loving Couple

YouTube, WCVB Channel 5 Boston

When KC and Lena Currie adopted then-18-month-old Joey in 2018, they didn’t expect their family to grow so rapidly.

The married couple chose to adopt in order to expand their family and knew as soon as they saw a picture of Joey that he would be their son. Not long after Joey’s adoption was finalized, the Curries received a call that Joey’s brother, 6-week-old Noah, needed a home too.

They immediately took him in. A month later, the middle brother Logan was also brought into their care. “Every time we got the call for a boy, we just had to say yes,” KC said.

Fate wanted the brothers to remain together as adoption plans for other families fell through. Luckily, KC and Lena were more than willing to adopt all three boys, despite the challenges of growing their family of three to a family of five. They sealed the deal on national adoption day so the boys can remain brothers forever.

Take a look at how a couple expanded their family to adopt three brothers in the video below.

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I'll need to buy a new box of tissues after those emotional stories. Anyone else feeling teary-eyed? Comment on your favorite stories by signing up for a Metaspoon account. Click Log In at the top right corner of this page to get started.