Teen adopted during COVID-19 pandemic feels like she won lottery with new South Florida family

Author: Hank Tester, WFOR
She was headed to foster care after being removed from her biological family and then her Guardian ad Litem stepped up. (WFOR)

One happy 13-year-old girl says she feels like she won the lottery.

But she did not. Natalia won something more valuable than that.

She now has a new big sister, a new mom and dad, and the adoption went down on Zoom in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was a feeling of this is where I need to be, this is good for me. I am stable. I am happy,” Natalia says.

Natalia and her new family have spent a lot of time together. A year and a half to be exact.

She was headed to foster care after being removed from her biological family and then her Guardian ad Litem, Isabel stepped up.

A guardian ad litem (GAL) is a person appointed by the courts to represent the best interests of a child in a legal proceeding.

“She was informed that she could no longer stay where she was living where she was and was going to foster care. That’s when I offered to have her to stay with us permanently,” said Isabel.

It worked well joining a family with two older brothers and most importantly, as it worked out, an older sister.

“I met Natalia. Thought she’d be a pretty good sister and I told my mom we should try and keep her to stay with us forever,” said Briana.

The adoption wheels were in motion and then the pandemic happened.

There were courthouse closures and difficulty with scheduling, but the Children’s Home Society of Florida made it happen.

So on June 23rd, Isabel says, “We did her adoption via Zoom and did not have to go to the courthouse to do it.”

This year the Children’s Home Society has found homes for 98 kids like Natalia.

Isabel says, “We were not about to let coronavirus not let this happen.”

Right now, the Children’s Home Society is working to find loving homes for 35 more children in Miami-Dade.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.