Jodi Kacz, 45, a dedicated teacher at Sonoran Heights Elementary School in Phoenix, AZ, was often in awe of her students. But one boy in particular, Orlando, a fourth-grade student who was studying English as a second language, always sat in the front row and seemed very eager to learn.
"We instantly connected," she said. "I knew there was something special about this boy from the start," Kacz told TODAY.
As she she got to know him better, spending time helping him improve his English and grammar, Kacz was shocked when another student pulled her aside to explain that Orlando was living in a foster home, praying every night that he'd one day be adopted--and scared that it might never come true.
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That's when everything changed.
Kacz, who was desperate to be a mom, had been trying to get pregnant for 10 years but was told it would be difficult after a uterine tumor was removed in 2007. Six years later, she received even more bad news: She now had heart disease, and conceiving naturally was likely out of the question.
"The only thing I had left to do was pray that God would somehow give me the gift of a child," said Kacz, who was stunned that one of her standout pupils was also in need of a family. "I knew right away what to do."
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She and her husband began filling out paperwork and by March of this year, the boy had moved in to their home. And on November 19, National Adoption Day, Orlando Kacz officially became their son.
"I never thought this moment would happen because of how rough my past was and what I've been through," he said. "It was truly the best day of my life."
Orlando, who had been living in an orphanage with his sister in Mexico before moving into foster care in Arizona, is thrilled to have a new family. His sister was also adopted by a local family.
Talk about fate! Find out more about this family's happy ending in this video.
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