Fourteen kids were adopted into forever families in Tampa on Wednesday.
But Kimberly Smith has long felt like 3-year-old Josiah is part of her family.
“He walked in and said 'hi mommy' and went and played like he had always lived in my house,” she said.
When she and her husband welcomed the little boy to their house, it was supposed to be just for a couple of weeks, but as time passed, it didn't make sense to say goodbye.
“We absolutely fell in love with him,” Kimberly said. “It's like he's always been with us.”
That was nine months ago. At the Hillsborough County Courthouse, it became official. Josiah became a Smith.
“He just fit,” Dave Smith, Josiah's adoptive dad, said. “And now he fits forever.”
The Smiths adopted Josiah after he spent 680 days in foster care.
“Did you get adopted?” Kimberly asked Josiah on Wednesday.
“Yes,” he replied, nodding.
He may not fully understand what that word means, but after having five different foster families in his short three years, he gets that he has arrived home.
“He understands, most importantly, that he does not have to move again,” Kimberly said. “And if he does, it's with us.”
And like any other family, they have learning moments.
During lunch, Kimberly told Josiah, “use your big boy words. Don't throw a fit.”
Kimberly thought she was over this phase when her biological 13-year-old grew up. Now, she's starting over, but she's up for the challenge.
“He's ours,” she said.
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