- (Photo: CNN Screen Shot)
A man has been adopted at the age of 32; fulfilling a childhood dream.
Maurice Griffin confesses that his dream has been to be adopted by Lisa Godbold, his one-time foster mother. However, as circumstances would have it, he has had to wait until now - in his young 30's - to have his dream become a reality.
Griffin said, "It has to happen. I didn't fight for all those years for no reason," according to CNN.
Godbold has also said, "I just feel like this makes it official. And we don't have to keep explaining it now."
Griffin grew up in an orphanage in the 1980s when Godbold and her husband first met him there, near their Sacramento residence.
The couple immediately fell in love with Griffin and he seemed to fit into the family's multi-racial dynamic perfectly - Godbold is white, and her husband is black, and they already had two children - Gideon and Spencer - who, like Griffin, were bi-racial.
Griffin explained: "We were best friends. We'd run around, we did mischievous things and fun things. It was a good time."
From the age of 9 until the age of 13 Griffin lived with the foster family, and he was due to be adopted by them. However, with just two months to do until the adoption was scheduled to become official things went horribly wrong.
Griffin had wanted to be 100 percent accepted into the family in every way, and being young, he described this in the only way he could think how. Griffin explained to KSWB: "I wanted to be treated like a real son. Their sons got spanked and I didn't."
So he explained this to a social worker as one of the reasons he desperately wanted to join the family as an officially adopted son. He said, "I told her they were going to be spanking me. She told her superiors and her superiors told her I had to be taken out."
Officials soon came and took Griffin away, tearing apart the family.
Godbold has said, "You can't spank foster children. Maurice very much wanted that. We wanted him to feel like the rest of our kids. And there was a difference of opinion with some of the (child welfare) supervisors."
However, when Godbold tried to fight to keep Griffin as part of the family she was warned that she could lose her two biological children as well. So she was forced to stop pursuing the matter.
Even though this was the only family Griffin truly felt was his, he was forced to separate from them against his will, and over time they lost contact. Griffin explained his despair, "It was just an emptiness. I couldn't talk to anybody about it because nobody was there. I couldn't call somebody; there was just a void in me."
A tearful Griffin recollected: "I didn't let anybody get close to me again. I hurt a lot of people. It was a rough road."
However, both Godbold and Griffin never stopped looking for each other. But things were made all the more difficult when Godbold's husband passed away in 1998. She went on to remarry and changed her last name.
But with the advances in social media and Internet technology, they finally found each other six years ago and communicated with each other online.
The family and Griffin had a tearful and emotional reunion and now they are going together to a San Diego court house on Friday to make the adoption happen so he can at last officially join the only family he has ever known.
Here is a video news report of the amazing story: