CLEVELAND — Life is full of doors; the question is which ones to open, and behind this one is a family that's been waiting 1,243 days for something very special: Gabriel's adoption.
"It's the end of a long journey and permanency for Gabriel," mother Megan said in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
1,243 days in the foster system as Megan and father Ronnie watched Gabriel grow, uncertain what his future would look like and whether his placement with them would be temporary or permanent.
"While in the foster care system, he seemed like such a ping pong ball," Megan told us, "not sure where he would end up."
For many of those 1,243 days, he was with his now-family, seeing his brother get officially adopted and asking when it was his turn. His family nurturing love and respect from his birth mom was also built as Gabriel grew.
"Emotions and feelings have changed over time," Megan said, "but just two weeks ago she sent me a very heartwarming text and said, 'I'm so glad he gets you as his mother,' and she will always have a place in his life."
Now, after those 1,243 days, a new door in Gabriel's life is officially open, and his adoptive family is with him on the other side.
"An adoptive child you love so much," Ronnie gushed. "I think it's even more so because it's one you chose to be a part of your life."
"He was one of the best 'yesses' we ever had," Megan added.
Editor's Note: The above video aired on Nov. 16, 2022