CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - A heart-warming update to a story we first shared with you in September 2016. Then 11-year-old Kendrick, a child in foster care, gave an emotional plea to be adopted, simply asking to be loved.
That dream came true and we were there for Kendrick's adoption day.
When we first met Kendrick, we knew he would be a child we would never forget, pulling at our heartstrings.
Through his tears, Kendrick shared the pain of being in foster care, separated from birth family, and unsure of his future in his third foster home.
He had spent several months in the home of Wendi and Troy Case of DeQuincy back in 2015.
"He was very shy at first, but it didn't take long for him to feel comfortable," said Wendi. "He's very funny, he's very outgoing. He loves people."
That love showed for the Cases and their grown children, Amber and Tayler.
"When we first got into fostering, we strictly were fostering, we weren't going to adopt," said Wendi. "Our kids are older, we were done. And then after Kendrick left, we saw your segment that he was open to be adopted and God changed our hearts and we knew that he was going to be our son."
So Wendi and Troy reached out to Kendrick's adoption worker and needless to say, he was thrilled to learn they could become his forever parents.
"My worker said I could go back with them," said Kendrick.
Kendrick says he had missed this family that had meant so much to him during his foster stay.
Fast forward about eight months later and Kendrick's adoption day is finally here in front of Judge Mitch Redd in Calcasieu Parish.
"Are you here today to agree to this adoption?" asked adoption attorney, Carla Chrisco.
"Yes." said Kendrick.
Surrounded by friends and now official family, sporting their "Loves Makes a Family" shirts, Kendrick became a Case.
"Congratulations buddy!" said Judge Redd. "You're a good looking boy!"
After pictures and more pictures, Kendrick and I went to a quieter area to talk about the magnitude of that moment.
When the emotions resurfaced, he said this time, the tears mean something very different.
"Just that I'm happy," he said.
Happy to be home, deeply wanted, and loved.
Wendi and Troy Case say their biggest lesson through this journey with Kendrick is that God is in control, not them. They encourage you to keep your heart open to adoption if you're feeling that tug.
Click here to see the original story featuring Kendrick in The New Family Tree from September 2016.