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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – One family has a special reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving – spending their first holiday together after the adoption of two teens.  

One of them was adopted just 8 days before turning 18 and aging out of DHS custody.

As you can imagine, the journey to adoption in 2020 was different, like everything else this year but they’re hoping to encourage others to welcome new members to their families

For John and Jennifer Honeycutt, the journey to adoption started 15 years ago, when they got married.

“John already had two children from a previous marriage and he asked if I wanted to have kids,” said Jennifer. 

They decided it wasn’t the right time to add to their family.

“With the plan that we would foster at a later date,” Jennifer said. 

That later date came in July of 2020.

They were ready to adopt two children – teens specifically.

“I just wouldn’t have been able to keep up with a toddler or for that matter even like an elementary child,” John said.

While looking at the Oklahoma Heart Gallery website, the couple came across a 17-year-old named Devon and his younger brother, Ryan.

“It was somewhere between providence and serendipitous,” John said.

Due to COVID-19, their first meeting was through video chat.

A week later, they met in person – and knew it was a perfect fit.

A team from DHS worked tirelessly to help them adopt Devon before he was an adult and on September 30th, just 8 days before Devon’s 18th birthday – the adoption of both boys was finalized.

“It happened very quickly and I am grateful for it,” Ryan said.

For Ryan, it’s the little things so many of us take for granted.

“I can finally do school athletics,” said Ryan. “There’s a lot more freedom. I can leave the house whenever.”

DHS representatives tell News 4 “Adopting teens is a lot more like a marriage than it is giving birth; Imperfect people who have decided to love each other and fight for each other even when it is hard.”

That’s what this family has found here.

“We feel lucky,” John said.  

Devon and Ryan’s adoption was expedited because Devon was aging out of custody. 

The Honeycutts and DHS officials want to remind everyone – adoption is typically a long process – so be patient.