On any given day in the U.S. alone, there are approximately 438,000 children living in foster care–438,000 children who are waiting for their lives to stop being so uncertain and for that right family to come along and claim them.

Worldwide, that number is exponentially greater, at 153 million. Needless to say, foster parents are a godsend, as are the people who adopt. Paige and Daniel Zezulka of Athens, Georgia, are both types of people.

Three years ago, the Zezulkas began fostering three young children, all siblings, and all under the age of 10. Despite their young ages, each of them had been through more hardship than most adults endure in a lifetime.

The two youngest siblings don’t remember a time when they weren’t with the Zezulkas, but Ivey, the eldest sister, is all too aware of their situation, and she has long since dreamed of the day when she can finally call a set of parents “Mom” and “Dad.” Her dream came true on her birthday, of all days.

Ivey and her twin brother and sister had been with Paige and Daniel for three years which, for most young children, is a lifetime. They each considered the Zezulkas their parents, but the problem was that the arrangement wasn’t “official,” which meant that the siblings could have been torn from the home at any second and placed in another person’s charge.

Such a thought was frightening to both Ivey and Paige and Daniel. However, unbeknownst to Ivey, Paige and Daniel had been in the midst of the adoption process for quite some time, and it wasn’t until the end of August that they finally got the good news–the adoption went through! The crazy part was that the news came on Ivey’s birthday.

The couple wanted the announcement to be special, so they quickly put together a last minute gift for Ivey to open, a small box that would contain all of the joy in the world. Inside lay a plaque that informed Ivey that she is officially a Zezulka, and the beautiful moment is caught on camera.

“I’m going to be adopted?”

“We love you, sweetheart. We’ll always be your parents,” Daniel whispers to the weeping child.

“Can you believe it? God is too good,” Paige tearfully tells her daughter.

“She had been praying to be adopted and we found out on her birthday that it was going to happen! God’s timing was perfect! Our kids spent 1,128 days in foster care, over 3 years. It is so hard on children to live in such uncertainty. Adoption is amazing and we want others to know that adopting older children and sibling groups can be the most beautiful adventure you could ever have!”

You really cannot watch this video without busting into tears of joy yourself. You can visibly see the weight being lifted off of Ivey’s shoulders as she realizes that the moment she has been waiting for for years has finally arrived.

“This will be my favorite video I ever share,” Paige wrote when she shared the video on Facebook. “This was the day we told our daughter that we were going to be able to adopt her (and her brother and sister)!”

Ivey, her twin siblings and Paige and Daniel all went to court on August 24th to make everything “officially official.”

Fostering a child is one of the most selfless things that one can do, but when a person or couple makes the decision to adopt, it can turn a child’s life around. Congratulations to the Zezulka family – we wish you all the love and happiness in the world!

Watch the heartwarming moment yourself, and share with others who could use a little pick-me up, or just a good, old-fashioned happy cry.

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