Forever Families: Chyna's Adoption
17-year-old Chyna was featured in The Heart Gallery of Central Texas for years. As she waited for a forever family, Chyna kept getting closer to aging out of the foster care system.
Now, just days until a new year, Chyna has the family she always hoped for. In a Williamson County courtroom, Chyna bangs the gavel to make the adoption official.
"There's always light over the rainbow. Everybody always has a memory in the back of their head. Go back to that memory and stick with it," said Chyna.
A happy memory is all Chyna had to hold on to year after year. And, her older brother Jaylen.
"I had to pick it up quick when I was younger. There's going to be dark days if I feel sorry for myself I'm not going to get anywhere but if I smile and act like everything's okay, eventually everything will be okay," said Jaylen.
Just days until a new year begins, Chyna reads the court a poem to her new mom Betty.
"I'm glad this day had a chance to appear. Without you the world is not the same. I'm glad you stayed by my side," read Chyna.
When they met, Chyna was 14 and Betty, only 24 years old at the time and working at the residential treatment center where Chyna was placed.
"We've been growing together and I was so young. It's been a great journey," said Betty.
Betty says it clicked one day taking Chyna for a sibling visit with Jaylen.
"At that moment it was like, that's my baby," said Betty.
"She's an angel. Incredible. Amazing," said Chyna.
In the crowd of caseworkers, lawyers and even bikers backing up Chyna, Joanne Egitto meekly stands behind her like she's done for years as Chyna's CASA Advocate.
"Today is truly a witness that love is transformative," said Egitto.
She tells the judge, today is also divine.
"Through all these trials, all this testing and all these placements that they stand together is just an answered prayer," said Egitto in court.
Jaylen has something to say too.
"Chyna deserves that after everything my sister has been through she deserves a lot. Chyna is truly and honestly happy and that's all I could ask for," he said.
Jaylen aged out of foster care. Today is not his adoption day. But this is a trio as they sway together and stay together.
"We're going to stumble but we're going to stumble together. We've had challenges but we overcame them together. We just keep looking ahead and be ready to tackle them all," said Betty.
There are hundreds of Central Texas foster children still waiting on their forever family. You can learn more at The Heart Gallery of Central Texas a program of Partnerships for Children. CBS Austin airs "Forever Families" every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.