Happy ending for teen in foster care

17-year-old adopted

Just two weeks before his 18th birthday Anthony Gonzales is getting something he wished for more than 10 years, a family.

His mother died when he was only 6-years-old, he and his seven siblings were placed in foster care.

Over the years he watched his siblings get adopted as he was moved from foster home to foster home.

I basically lost hope in everything, Gonzales said.

At the age of 17, he decided to attend an adoption picnic hoping to find a family.

Anthony had worn a suit that day to the meeting and he was standing off to the side and Polly said, look at that young man over there, just a polite young man, I TMm going to go talk to him, Alex Harris, adoptive father said.

Alex and his wife Polly Harris kept in touch with Gonzales and eventually considered adopting him.

Today the three stood before a judge and finalized the adoption weeks before he becomes a legal adult.

He just touched our heart and it TMs one of those times that God reaches down, Alex said.

As of last month there are 6,274 children in foster care in the state of Texas.

Eighty-one of those children are from the Rio Grande Valley.

There is a great need, we have a lot of children, a lot of teenagers in care right now that are open and willing to be adopted, Child Protective Service Specialist Jennifer Mata, said.

Mata said older foster children like Anthony are harder to place in homes because many parents are looking for younger children.

Why not let this kid have a life where he will be successful and give back? Polly said.

The couple said children like Gonzales deserve to have families that will love and support them, no matter what age they are.

It TMs not just your life you are changing, but you are changing the life of somebody else forever, Gonzales said.

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