Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A heart-opening experience

When a social worker asked Robert and Ara Hunt if they'd like to meet a homeless 18-year-old sibling of their adopted daughter Shyann, 13, they refused. Why? "We didn't know anything about him, and we were afraid he might harm our family," Ara explained. Today the boy, Logan, is reunited with the sister he never knew, and is a much-loved member of his first "forever family," the Hunts. The process was long in coming.

Taken from his biological mother at birth, Logan was adopted, but later removed from his adoptive parents and placed in foster care for 11 years. He recalls always being on the outside, even at Thanksgiving when he was sent to his room so his foster parents could enjoy dinner with their "real" family.

While still in high school, he aged out of foster care. Taking one pair of shoes and a few belongings, he moved into his car. He told his court-appointed advocate, Virginia Barrett, that he was homeless. She was determined to help and discovered he had an adopted biological sister, Shyann, so she called Shyann's mother, Ara Hunt.

Ara began texting Logan, while Shyann prayed for the brother she never met. Soon Logan came for a visit, and he never left. "Everyone has bonded," Ara says. "We all felt he was part of our family." For Logan, who is finally learning what it means to be part of a family, life is completely different.

"After 13 years, to find joy again, it's like having your first birthday," he says. "It's a heart-opening experience."

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