SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Our latest Adopt 8 story shows just how much a child’s life can be changed through the gift of adoption.
News 8 first shared Shane’s adoption story in 2010. He’s now 18 years old and what he has achieved since then is remarkable.
Our Marcella Lee recently caught up with Shane who is now a freshman in college.
News 8 first featured Shane along with his mom Lisa as part of an Adopt 8 Success Story eight years ago.
Shane was 10 but mature enough to admit he was a terror when he first moved in with his mom at age seven.
“I was really wild when I first came,” he said.
But Shane said his mom’s unconditional love transformed him and he encouraged others to help a foster child just like him.
"Just give us a chance because I wouldn't have ever dreamed of being who I am now,” said Shane.
News 8 followed Shane through the years and in 2013 helped him spread the word about his Eagle Scout project inspired by a haunting memory.
"My last foster home, they put my stuff in a black trash bag and they took it over to my mom's house,” said Shane. “That made me feel like my stuff isn't worth anything. So, it really affected my sense of self-worth.”
Shane's mission was to provide a duffel bag, and other comfort items, to at least 100 local foster children.
News 8 viewers answered the call, helping more than 300 kids. The district attorney and county board of supervisors also took notice leading to a change in policy which now provides duffel bags for every foster child.
Five years later, Shane is now 18.
"Looking back... I couldn't have done it without the amazing people in my life,” said Shane.
News 8 caught up with him and his mom, before he left for college on an impressive scholarship.
“I received a full tuition scholarship, all the way through my doctoral program,” said Shane.
He is studying biology and physical therapy at the University of Evansville in Indiana.
"I'm heartbroken he's going to be going 2,000 miles away, but he's ready, he's more ready than I am,” said Lisa. “And I'm proud of him.”
But Shane gives all the credit to his mom for taking a chance on an unruly boy.
"I had every behavior imaginable,” he said. “I would throw desks and chairs in the classroom. I would refuse to do things all day long. I was a train wreck.”
Though it’s been eight years since we first met Shane - his message is the same.
"Every child deserves a chance, so if I hadn't been placed in my mom's care and been adopted, if she hadn't taken that leap and adopted me, I wouldn't have been who I am today,” said Shane. “It's incredible to think that one person like my mom can change a life.”
Lisa says all you need is patience, faith and love.
"Don't give up,” she said. “Don't give up because had I given up on my son, I can't imagine what my life would be today; because my life, and my family's life, is so much richer, because he's in it.”
If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U or click here to access the free orientation schedule.
View more incredible Adopt 8 stories at the link below.