Never too old to need a family

Nov 13 2012

By Callie Langford

When asked why he wanted to be adopted, Alex said, “I’m part of something now, not just a piece of something that wasn’t wanted.”

Eloquent words, spoken by an impressive 18-year-old at his adoption two weeks ago. The adoption of Alexander Vega Wells was the first of the 2012 Austin Adoption Day celebration and beautifully illustrated an important theme of the day: everyone needs a family, no matter how old they are. Alex had been in and out of the foster care system his entire life, but finally met his forever family about 3 years ago. “This is a solid place I can come home to," he said.

“Alex is a unique young man. I met him on the first day of my job. I went home that first day and said to Crystal, ‘If we were adopting a child, I met someone today I would absolutely want to take in,’” shares Kelly Wells who met Alex at his high school where she’s an assistant principal.

According to his CASA volunteer Tracie Downing, Alex “loves music and working with children in his child development class at school. He works at HEB where he gets compliments from customers all the time. He’s a very nice young man.”

Even though Alex is now technically an adult, everyone agreed that it was important to make his family a legal and permanent one. Alex was especially adamant about this, so much so that he took the initiative himself to call attorney Denise Hyde and said, “I want to be adopted by my foster family. Can you help me?”

Austin, Adoption, CASA, Volunteer

“I've never had a young man call me and say ‘I know I'm an adult but I want my foster family to adopt me,’” said Denise during the adoption proceedings.

When Kelly first met Alex during a meeting at their high school with the principals and other youth in foster care, she let him know that she would be there for him if he needed anything. They bonded quickly and he would regularly stop by her office to talk or would eat lunch with her in the cafeteria. She and her partner, Crystal Sartin, were going through the adoption process with their younger son Weston when Kelly found out that Alex wasn’t doing well in his current foster home. Crystal came to meet Alex over lunch one day and felt the same connection Kelly did. Soon after Kelly told him, “You know Alex, we’re certified as foster parents and if you’re not happy where you’re at…” at which point Alex broke into a huge smile.

A year ago Alex spent Thanksgiving with the whole family and moved in soon after. Kelly told him, “I want you to be serious about this because our house is not a revolving door. We’re going to stick together and this is going to be a commitment on all of us.”

And a year later they made this commitment even stronger at Adoption Day. During the adoption Alex took Kelly’s last name in addition to his own, telling Judge Hathaway, “I want to represent the name and be a part of it. It's an amazing name to have.”

Judge Hathaway has known Alex for a long time and during the adoption he told Alex, “Because of your character, your strength and your spirit you are here with your family. You’ve taught us that every child, youth and young adult can be adopted.”

“I feel probably more blessed than he feels to have this young man a part of our family. There's no turning back, you're permanent, you’re a Wells now,” said Kelly to Alex during the adoption. And after wanting to be part of something, Alex is now part of something big. He is not only a son to Crystal and Kelly; he’s also an amazing big brother to Weston and will soon have a little sister to look out for as well.

Congratulations to Alex and his entire family. CASA is so proud of Alex and so happy to be a part of his amazing story!

Austin, Adoption Day, CASA, Volunteer