SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Doctors were worried he wouldn't have a life worth living, and discussed removing care for him as an infant. But three-year-old Pierce is now thriving, and so is his sister Olive in their new forever home.
Just a few hours before we met up with this family of six at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, they were in court, standing before a judge for a momentous and joyous occasion - the finalization of adoption for three-year-old Pierce and two-year-old Olive.
“I didn't expect it to mean as much as it did to have it officially reflected, what we've known since we met them. That they are part of our family and we are part of theirs,” said Amanda.
“It was really exciting because we're having two new members of our family and I was really happy that it happened,” added Caleb.
Seven-year-old Caleb and five-year-old Charlotte are the couple's biological children and it was Charlotte's medical complications from being born at 23 weeks that prompted Amanda and Peter to start fostering medically fragile children.
“Pierce had a couple medical issues and we have a daughter with some medical issues as well,” said Peter. “We heard about his medical problems and we thought we could handle that.”
Pierce was first featured on Adopt 8 in October 2013.
He was dependent on a ventilator, but had already beaten all odds, after being born with underdeveloped lungs and a narrow ribcage, making it difficult for him to breathe. Amanda said doctors didn't expect him to survive long past birth.
“Long before we were involved, doctors in the hospital were questioning whether they should continue giving treatment and everything because his prognosis was not very good, and even once he was placed in foster care they said he wouldn't sit up, he wouldn't ever walk, he wouldn't talk,” explained Amanda.
But Pierce proved everyone wrong and about a year and a half ago, he and his biological sister were matched with their forever family, where Pierce has continued to thrive.
“He's as normal as you can make it, is it amazing, it's pretty amazing, yeah. He's doing great,” said Peter.
“He uses the vent while he's sleeping, but they're weaning him from that right now. So, so yeah he's…nobody really knows what to expect because he's just blowing through everybody's expectations," added Amanda.
Olive has some medical needs as well, including occasional seizures, but she has come a long way as well.
“The children have grown so much and the family has grown so much. Love conquers all, that's what it is, love just conquers all,” said their grandmother who added it's been a remarkable journey.
Peter and Amanda encourage others to foster or adopt special needs children, who just want the same things all children deserve.
“They're really just kids who want to play,” Amanda noted. “At the end of the day they're just a kid who wants somebody to tuck them in at night and all of that process and all of that hard work is worth it in the end.”
Pierce and Olive are Native American, and their forever family would like to thank the children's tribe for showing the kids love and being supportive of the adoption. The couple says they will continue to honor their traditions and culture and maintain connections with their tribe.
If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.