On Monday, 300 people gathered inside a Collin County courtroom to witness and celebrate the adoption ceremony of an 8-year-old boy. Nike Schwartz spent 1,553 days in foster care and on February 17, he became an official member of his family!
Four years ago, Child Protective Services (CPS) took Nike out of his biological parents’ home for neglectful supervision and drug use. The boy’s first foster placement didn’t work out, so his first CPS caseworker, Elizabeth Cruz, called David and Kristi Schwartz to see if they would take him in. Though they weren’t planning on fostering another kid, the North Texas couple immediately agreed.
“We got a call asking to take him in, and we said yes, and he showed up at our door at midnight on May 4, 2016,” Kristi said.
David and Kristi, now parents of three, had been fostering children for 11 years. The husband and wife knew they always wanted to have more than one child, so they did it through foster care. At one point, they took in a 10-month-old boy who lived with them for about a year before he went back to his biological parents. That incident changed their perspective on parenting.
“We really thought, selfishly, that we were going to get to keep him,” Kristi said. “It made us realize it was about the kids.”
The Schwartzes have a 17-year-old biological daughter and adopted their second daughter, Lily, when she was just 4 years old. Six years later, the couple had fostered nine kids. The most recent one was Nike.
“You see these kids in their most rawest form and you just feel this maternal instinct to want to provide that stability for them,” Kristi said. “For me and Nike, it was pretty quick that I knew that.”
They quickly realized that they wanted to keep Nike as their own. Although Nike’s biological parents’ rights were revoked in 2017, his adoption took longer because his parents continued to make legal appeals to gain back custody.
After all these hurdles, the Schwartzes finally received good news late last year – Nike’s adoption had gone through! He officially became a member of their family on February 17.
“I saw this sense of relief that it was finally happening,” Kristi said of the boy’s reaction. “We talked about it so much and the timing of it was out of our control so he couldn’t believe that it was finally happening.”
To make this day more special, they printed out hundreds of shirts bearing the words “May the Schwartz be with you” with his adoption date “2-17-20” written below it. The Schwartzes also invited 300 people, including their friends, family, and adoption officials who helped them throughout this journey.
Nike’s favorite superhero, Batman, was also there to witness the ceremony. Twenty-four of his second-grade classmates and his older sister’s high school drill team, who cheered him with pompoms, also joined the family on this special day.
“It was just overwhelming. I can’t think of a better word for it,” Kristi said of the event. “It was unbelievable to see everyone who came out and supported our family and who have supported us through all of this.”
David and Kristi worked with Buckner International, a Christian, non-profit private adoption agency. They knew that Nike was a massive fan of the Dallas Cowboys, so they gave him a gift basket from the team that included a signed football. Kristi said it was the “highlight” of her son’s day.
Watch the video below to learn more about this inspiring adoption story.
We are so glad that after spending nearly half his life as a foster kid, Nike’s one great wish finally came true!