PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — After aging out of the foster care system, 27-year-old Christian Jacob thought he’d never have a family.
But that all changed last week when the LaChapelle-Miller family formally welcomed him into their lives.
Even though Christian is an adult, a judge allowed the LaChapelle-Millers to adopt him.
It’s something Christian has longed for his entire life.
“I feel I’m loved,” he said. “I’m wanted and everybody needs to feel that way. It doesn’t matter how old you are.”
Christine LaChapelle-Miller, who was adopted herself, said she first met Christian 10 years ago. Over the years, Christian became close with her family.
“I don’t think it’s ever too late to have a family,” she said. “He officially now he has my last name. He has my kids’ last name. He has us on his birth certificate, so in his mind, it was really important to have that.”
Christine called her son an amazing human being.
“He brings so much joy to our family,” she said. “Laughter, love and everything. We love him to death.”
Christian said his new family means everything to him because they gave him something he didn’t have: hope, and a sense of belonging.
“I was born December ’93 here in Providence and I was removed immediately from the hospital,” he explained. “I was born on cocaine and that’s what started my journey in and out of foster care.”
He said he bounced from one foster home to another throughout his childhood.
“I grew up believing my own mother didn’t love me or want me,” Christian said. “She made it very clear when I was a kid. She told me I was going to be nothing in life.”
Christian ran away several times, searching for what he was missing in his life. He said there were plenty of times when things could’ve turned out much differently.
“I’m not going to lie, I considered ending my own life when I was a teenager,” he said. “It does mess with you, but you’ve got to find a way to keep on.”
When asked how he was able to make it through those dark times in his life, he said, “I think it was hope that tomorrow was going to be better than yesterday.”
Christian said his faith brought him to the LaChapelle-Miller family. He said the adoption allowed him to not only say goodbye to his past, but open his heart to the future.
“Closure from my past … All of the people who said, ‘This is not going to happen for you. This is not possible,'” he said. “It means so much more than a last name, it means I have a family now.”
Christian hopes his adult adoption will open the door for others who have spent most of their lives looking for a family.
He’s currently attending Rhode Island College, where he’s working toward a bachelor’s degree in justice studies.
“It’s never too late to welcome someone into your family, ever,” Christine said.