BOISE -- Twenty-four children officially have safe new homes and families after a special adoption day event in Boise. We talked to parents and children who said adoption helped to change their lives, and in some cases, save their lives.
LeAndra Lee, almost a decade ago, appeared on a KTVB Wednesday's Child segment. She talked about how close she was with her brothers and sisters. They were looking for a family to adopt all five of them.
Today, LeAndra is an adoption success story, and spoke at an Adoption Day event at the Statehouse.
"It's a wonderful day," said Lee.
Twenty-four adoptions were finalized Friday in Boise, including Kimberly and Zakery Cutler's adoption of their second son, Luca. The Cutlers say both their sons came from good biological parents who just couldn't give them the care they felt they deserved.
"That's the part of adoption that I think doesn't get much credit, the birth parents," said Zakery. "They're giving up such an amazing gift."
Idaho Supreme Court Justice Jim Jones finalized some of the adoptions. "It's about the only time when a court can conduct a session, and everybody's happy," he said.
Jones is an adoptive parent himself. "It's been the light of my life."
While it wasn't the situation Jones' daughter came from, he sees children come from abusive or neglectful families often. He says after they're adopted, they thrive. That brings us back to LeAndra.
"We're all doing things with our lives that we never had the opportunity to do," she said.
Lee says she and her siblings have a future today because a couple who barely knew them pulled them from a neglectful home and gave them a real family. "Growing up in the situation that I did, there was no hope of a future for me. I didn't feel good about myself. I was never happy. Then, after being adopted, I learned that I can be loved. I learned that I was smart. I learned that I had unlimited possibilities of what I could do with my life."
Lee also talked about when she was younger, getting used to life with her adoptive family, and actual discipline. She said she soon realized that discipline was how her parents were showing their protectiveness and love.
There are so many great kids, like LeAndra, that we feature on our Wednesday's Child segment. You can meet them every Wednesday on the News at Five.