Adoption is an amazing life-changing gift. Although the process can be long and painful at times the outcome makes it all worth it.

In a town just 30 minutes north of Philadelphia, known as Bensalem, Pennsylvania, a family was forever changed through adoption on July 13, 2021.

Rita Marlow and Seth Lentchner adopted 16-year-old Nate Ross on July 13, 2021. A day known by many adoptive families and adoptees as “gotcha day.” Gotcha day is the day their family formally adopts them. 

The couple met the boy nine years ago through their biological son, who plays soccer. 

“We are still a little in shock,” Rita Marlow initially told TODAY Parents. “We keep saying, ‘It’s for real?'”

In 2016, they received news that Nate was taken out of his previous home and had nowhere else to go. Nate’s case manager asked Rita and Seth if they would be willing to foster him at least temporarily. However, a few days later, a call came asking them if they’d consider becoming his foster parents to keep him close to the one thing he loved: soccer.

A day to celebrate. Fifty-two people entered the courtroom to celebrate while more than 100 others were waiting outside. 

“There are just no words to explain how grateful I am for my family,” Rita Marlow stated.

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Chinese-American adoptee and published author who seeks to share my story and inspire others.

The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.