Teen finds forever family with his Guardian ad Litem’s daughter

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Melissa Montoya
Published: Updated:
Theresa McSpedon and Scott Haney adopted James Irish on Wednesday.

A teenager’s adoption was finalized on Wednesday, officially recognized as part of a family, after spending nearly his entire life bouncing around.

James Irish, of Fort Myers, was just a few months away from aging out of the foster care system, but at 17 years old, he found his home with a Connecticut couple.

Theresa McSpedon and her husband Scott Haney met James when he was 13. Her father was James’s Guardian ad Litem, meaning he represented James’s interests during court proceedings. Her dad became a Guardian ad Litem after losing Theresa’s mother unexpectedly.

Her dad said it was a shame James had to spend Christmas alone in a foster home.

That’s when Theresa had an idea.

“I was like oh, just bring him up! Bring it up! It’ll be fine! Not knowing I couldn’t just pick up a child in foster care and transport him across state lines,” Theresa said.

What Theresa, then in her late fifties with no children, didn’t know is how much she’d come to love the boy she invited for Christmas dinner on a whim.

“I was like hun, I think we’re having a kid … and he looked at me like maybe I was pregnant,” she said. “And I said no, no, that time’s past, but we’re having a teen.”

James wasn’t quite sure off the bat. His three siblings were adopted young and he was left behind, bouncing from foster family to foster family all of his life.

“It was a little bit overwhelming, they bought a lot things for me,” James said.

In time, James came to realize that the overwhelming over the top thing Theresa offered him was a mother’s love.

And then there’s her cooking.

“I weigh a lot, but not like I used to,” James said. “Everything about my life has changed for the better.”

Better for his mom and dad too.

“I’m glad you finally decided to adopt us,” Theresa said.


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