“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”
The famous quotation taken from Lilo and Stitch speaks a volume of truth about how important having a family is. The family is where we first learned how it feels like to be loved, accepted, and cared for unconditionally.
Some people believe that families are made, not born. And a couple from Athens, Georgia who are Paige and Daniel Zezulka know how important it is to make, raise, and keep a family.
For the last three years, Paige and Daniel have been foster parents to three wonderful children who wanted to have a warm place to go home to and a family to share supper with. To make-up for the tough childhood these children endured, Paige and Daniel showered them with love, affection, and attention.
The memories and experiences they have made over the last three years almost make them a family- all they needed is to make it official.
The adoption process is not an overnight challenge, it’s a lengthy one. In fact, it takes an average of 2-7 years in order to be approved and marked as official. Ivey, the oldest out of the three children, always prayed every single day to finally be a legal daughter of Paige and Daniel. Little did Ivey know that her greatest desire will be granted- on her birthday!
After finding out the good news that Ivey will be their legal daughter, Paige and Daniel quickly thought of surprising Ivey. Disguised as her one-more-gift, Ivey had no idea that contained in the small box is the best birthday gift she will ever receive- the gift of family.
The loving and doting mom and dad waited eagerly for Ivey’s reaction, holding their cameras, the couple recorded a video of Ivey’s overwhelming response after knowing the good news.
“I’m going to be adopted?” Ivey asked as tears fall down her face, she couldn’t believe that long-time fantasy of having a complete family is finally turning into a reality.
“We love you, sweetheart. We’ll always be your parents,” Daniel said, happy that he is now the official father of Ivey.
“Can you believe it? God is too good,” Paige said, definitely as overwhelmed as Ivey was.
The newly official parents of Ivey showered her with kisses and hugs; now the family can sleep soundly at night knowing that they will not be separated from each other anymore. Now they have become a legal family. they are not only family in heart but is recognized by the society as well.
“This will be my favorite video I ever share,” The proud new mother Paige posted and shared Ivey’s heartwarming video on her Facebook account. “This was the day we told our daughter that we were going to be able to adopt her (and her brother and sister)!”
“She had been praying to be adopted and we found out on her birthday that it was going to happen! God’s timing was perfect! Our kids spent 1,128 days in foster care, over 3 years. It is so hard on children to live in such uncertainty. Adoption is amazing and we want others to know that adopting older children and sibling groups can be the most beautiful adventure you could ever have!” Paige added.
On August 24, after completing the adoption process, the Zezulka’s family went to the court and officially welcomed Ivey and the other two children into their family.
Indeed, precious things are worth waiting for; and although the adoption process took time, the love sure arrived instantly! May the Zezulka and all families out there always be filled with love, affection, acceptance, and unconditional understanding!
Watch the tear-jerking video of Ivey, the child whose heart’s greatest wish came true on her birthday. Now the little girl belongs to a family that no one could ever take away, a family that will always be there with her through thick and thin.