SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - CBS News 8 is celebrating 15 years of Adopt 8. Through the years, nearly 500 Adopt 8 children have found forever families, including a boy named Sebastian.
Sebastian was one of the very first foster kids CBS News 8 featured. A woman who had just beaten cancer, who wanted to fulfill her dream of being a parent, saw him on our newscast that day and it changed both of their lives - forever.
It's been 15 years since we first met Sebastian. He was three at the time and was a happy, adorable little boy who loved cars. He was one of the first children to be featured on Adopt 8 in September of 2000.
And the woman who would become his mom, just happened to be watching and she still has that special broadcast on tape:
“Here he was in a little wagon with a dog licking his face, on this footage, and I thought ok I need to meet this young man. When I finally met Sebastian, my heart just melted and I knew that he was meant to be my son,” said Grace.
Fifteen years later, look at them now, full of love. Sebastian turned 18 this month and as his mom Grace reflects back on their life together:
“I'm just overwhelmed, because he's grown up to be a young man that I had hoped for him to be,” explained Grace. “He has taught me to love, and he has taught me patience and with him. In my life we've really grown together.”
When Grace adopted Sebastian, she knew he had some developmental delays. He has since been diagnosed with autism and ADHD, but has beaten all odds.
“He's really thrived, he is bright. His teachers can tell you. He's very curious he likes to take things apart and put them back together,” Grace added. “He really has excelled beyond expectations, so I'm very grateful.”
And Sebastian is just as appreciative of his mom.
“The thing I love about her, is she takes care of me, she feeds me, she cooks for me and she also she also keeps a roof over my head and that's why I love her,” said Sebastian.
Sebastian also has a younger sister, Nicole, who Grace also adopted through the county. And this family of three is hoping their story inspires others to give more foster children a brand new start.
Sebastian is graduating high school in June and will be entering an adult transition program to learn independent living and job skills. His mom Grace would like to thank their family, friends and church for their support. She also extends a special thank you to Sebastian's teachers and schools through the years, in particular the Chula Vista Elementary School District and the Sweetwater Union High School District. She adds that Sebastian wouldn't be the success he is, without their help and guidance.
If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.
CBS News 8 would also like to thank Boomers San Diego for hosting a fun day at the park.