Facebook | Cayela Moody

2-Year-Old Girl Celebrates Adoption After Spending 700 Days In Foster Care

Caitlyn Clancey 16 May 2020

In the midst of all the overwhelmingly negative news that's been coming out of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, it's important that we stop to appreciate the happier stories too, because believe it or not, good things are still happening in the world, even if it doesn't feel that way.

And this is definitely a very good story.

Last month, a two-year-old girl was formally adopted by her foster parents after spending almost her entire life in foster care. And to celebrate the momentous occasion while still maintaining social distancing regulations, her family threw her an "Adoption Day" parade.

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In 2018, Isla Moody of Jacksonville, Florida, was put in the care of the Moody family when she was just seven days old.

Facebook | Cayela Moody

According to Good Morning America, she weighed just 4 pounds, 8 ounces the day Cayela Moody, her husband Evan, and their four biological children welcomed her into their home. And they fell in love with her instantly.

"We'd had Isla for 48 hours and somebody asked if she needed us for adoption, would we want to?," Cayela recalled. "I brought it up to Evan and he said, 'You won't need to ask me again. If she needs us for adoption I'm all in.'"

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In February, after two years of fostering, the Moody family learned they would finally be able to adopt Isla.

Facebook | Cayela Moody

But the outbreak of the novel coronavirus effectively put the breaks on their plans as courthouses all across the country were closed.

"They basically stopped all operations for a while at least," Evan told GMA. "We knew in February that it was pretty much a certainty that she was going to be with us forever, but the actual adoption ceremony itself and decree was on hold indefinitely at that point."

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Thankfully, after six weeks courthouses began offering online proceedings, and in April the family was finally able to follow through with the adoption process via a Zoom call.

Caylea Moody via Good Morning America

On April 30, while more than two dozen friends and family members joined the call from inside their own homes, Isla was officially adopted into the Moody family after spending 700 days in the foster care system.

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To celebrate, Fostering Hope, a foster care support organization which Cayela Moody helps run, threw Isla an "Adoption Day" parade.

Facebook | Cayela Moody

"Everybody wanted to be part of Isla's adoption, but I thought I can't do this right now, we'll throw a party later," Cayela explained. "A friend asked if it would be O.K. to throw a parade and I said that'd be fine."

"I wanted people who supported us and Isla to be able to celebrate because they've been part of this, too."

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A dozen cars drove past the Moody home on the day of Isla's adoption while the toddler watched from the front lawn with her family.

Cayela Moody via Good Morning America

"Whether or not she had understanding at all, or to what degree she understood what was going on, we'll be able to look back at that day and say you were really loved by a lot of people," Evan said. "And yeah, you were adopted during a pandemic and that was super weird, but that being said, you didn't just have a party, you had a parade."

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The Moody family is currently fostering another child and say they will continue to support other foster parents in their community.

Unsplash | Liv Bruce

"There's a place for everybody to care for and love foster children," Cayela said to encourage other parents to consider fostering as well. "Maybe it's just delivering a meal or helping throw birthday parties or providing Christmas gifts, just meeting needs where they arise."

Her husband added, "It's kind of cliché, but it really does take a village to make it work."

h/t: Good Morning America, Facebook | Cayela Moody

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