SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's been about five years since a local woman named Celeste first thought about adopting.
I actually had the honor of meeting Celeste at a charity event back then and she shared with me she'd been considering adoption, but didn't know how to get started or if it would even be the right thing for her.
I suggested she attend a free orientation session to help her decide and that one meeting confirmed her decision to become a mom.
Two-year-old Nico will never remember a time when his mom Celeste wasn't part of his life and Celeste can't imagine not being his mom.
“Even though he came to me as special needs, he has just thrived. He is unbelievable and I'm so proud of him because he just really has come such a long way, and now he is a normal two-year-old and I just can't wait to see what he becomes,” Celeste explained.
Nico was 14-months-old when he was matched with Celeste.
“He was slow to walk, slow to speak, his eating was very delayed as well,” added Celeste.
But Nico has since overcome so many challenges.
“I think he just needed love and attention and someone who was able to give him the time and attention he needed,” Celeste said.
Celeste first thought about adopting and having her own family, after watching the many adopt 8 stories that tugged at her heartstrings.
“I think I've always wanted children, but I just chose career over family for many years, and I just realized I had so much to give in my life,” she continued. “I was so blessed with everything that I just really wanted to share that with some kids.”
But she wasn't sure adoption would be the right fit until she attended a free orientation class through San Diego County Adoptions, where she learned about the adoption journey and the need to find good homes for waiting children.
“I went to the orientation and I was hooked. And so, I started the classes and the process and was assigned a social worker who has been unbelievable and it took a little while but I was finally matched,” Celeste explained.
She says being a single parent has its challenges, but her incredibly supportive community is always there to step in, when she needs help.
“I mean you have your bad days, but every mom or dad has their bad days with their biological children,” said Celeste. “So with this whole process, I've been really lucky to have that support. I know that I couldn't have done it without all of those people, the friends, the family, the county.”
Celeste says being a mom is such a priceless gift:
“It's been an experience that I never could have imagined. People always talk about you saving the children, but it's not a cliché, they save you and my life is so much richer and fuller.”
If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.
There's absolutely no commitment to learn about the process and it just might change your life like it did for Celeste.