NOVA, Ohio (WJW)– After waiting seven years, a local family was finally able to adopt their two sons.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic creating a new challenge, the Arnold family found a way.
“We surprised them with these shirts to tell them it is final. They having been waiting so long,” said Rachel Arnold, of Nova in Ashland County.
Evan, 12, and Paden, 10, were placed with the Arnolds in 2011. But after years of setbacks, Rachel and her husband, Emery, were forced to wait on adopting them.
“April 7 was supposed to be the court date. With all the coronavirus that is going on, they decided not to,” Emery said.
On Tuesday, a judge made it official via Zoom.
“We were shocked. He said it right away that he was signing and it was done. When he said the children’s new names, it was emotional,” Rachel said.
Evan cried and Paden did a happy dance.
The Arnolds lost their first son after he was born prematurely in 2009. A year later, they were contacted by a woman who had two sons in need of a home and a family.
“The foster care system has some negativity around it and there definitely needs to be changes. But the bottom line is it can be effective,” Rachel said.
A long journey finally came to an end for two of their boys.
Cameron, 7, will be officially adopted later this summer.
“I know I was part of their family before, but now I am really part of their family,” Evan said.