Finding a Family: Sophia's Story - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Finding a Family: Sophia's Story

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Right now in West Virginia, thousands of kids are in the foster care system, waiting for their forever family. 

One Ritchie county family works to help find those children parents as well as adopting a daughter of their own. 

"It's something I've always wanted to do," said adoptive mother Stephanie Hayhurst-Hall. "To me, adoption is where we give hope back to communities, hope back to kids."

For Stephanie Hayhurst-Hall and her husband Jason, adoption was always part of the plan. Stephanie was adopted through the Children's Home Society of West Virginia when she was a child. 

The couple decided to use the agency after Stephanie gave birth to their son Carson. 

"In 2013, we suffered a couple of miscarriages," said Hayhurst-Hall. "We have had some hard things happen but a lot of people go through that. But we decided to it was time. It was time to start down the journey to adoption."

That journey included taking PRIDE classes to prep for foster parenting along with a home study. 

In January of 2015, Stephanie received a life-changing phone call telling them that they would be receiving a child. 

"We have a little girl," said Hayhurst-Hall. "Well I'm like 'yes!' I mean, I have a male dog. I have a husband. I have a son. 'I'm like pink!'" 

When Sophia arrived at Stephanie and Jason's home, she was one-year-old. 

"She was very traumatized," said Hayhurst-Hall.  "She wanted to hide under our table. It was very sad. You know, she had never had a bath before." 

After several surgeries, vaccines, and services from WVU, Sophia now thrives. 

"Those services were really critical to where she's at today," said Hayhurst-Hall.  "Because where she's at today, she's ahead. It's a success story."

After 20 months with the Halls, last fall Sophia officially became their daughter. 

A process Stephanie said took too long. 

"She knew. She knew." said Hayhurst-Hall. Stephanie said Sophia would ask, "Mommy do I get to stay here forever?"

After watching her daughter's transformation, Stephanie plans to lobby for children's rights throughout the state.

"I think for us and we get really emotional when we talk about this is taking them to church," said Hayhurst-Hall.  "Seeing them when they sing Bible songs. I think the most rewarding part for me and Jason is just being able to see children be children." 

To learn more about foster parenting and adoption, call The Children's Home Society of West Virginia at 304-346-0795.

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