Teenager, adult woman adopted as part of National Adoption Day - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Teenager, adult woman adopted as part of National Adoption Day

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

This has been a moment a long time in the making for 15-year-old Alexis.

In a court room in Linn County, a judge finalized what Alexis had already known, making Julie Mather her mother- officially.

"I'm really happy to know that I have my mom here forever and always, and that I have my sister and the rest of the family here," Alexis said.

Alexis spent time in the Mather home at six years old, while in foster care.

She later went back to live with her parents for a short time before going back into foster care and bouncing around from home to home.

"It was kind of hard because it was like this wasn't my family, and this wasn't my home.  It just wasn't the same," Alexis said.

But now, that's all in the past.  Mather who had stayed in contact with Alexis, knew she wanted to be the one to give her some stability.

"I had a lot of people say to me 'Do you know what you're doing adopting a teenager?', and I said, 'Yeah I think so, what's wrong with it?'" Mather said.  "In the end, I knew in my heart it's the right thing to do."

There's many more teenagers like Alexis, kids with bright futures, who may never find a permanent family simply because of their ages.

"There's always a need for permanency and family no matter what age you are.  So, I think that's the reason that it's important that these children waiting for adoption be adopted," said Lana Kelsey with Iowa KidsNet.

It's the reason why Kelsey adopted 28-year-old Jolene.

Jolene and her five-year-old daughter have lived with the Kelsey's for a number of years.

"I've waited a long time for that, so very proud of that, and nice to have a family," Jolene Salehoglu said.

Having a family to come home to is something Jolene and Alexis will never take for granted.

"I've finally found my home, and I know that I won't be moving or going anywhere except for college," Alexis said.

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