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Posted on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

In time for National Adoption Day, Ypsilanti Township family makes an addition to the family 'official'

By Tom Perkins

When Angela Boston first met Jasmine in the ICU at the hospital, she said knew the infant would eventually be her daughter.

Over a year of foster parenting later, on National Adoption Day on Tuesday, that will finally come true for Angela and her husband Heath, of Ypsilanti Township.

“We’re excited, just very excited that it’s complete now,” Angela Boston said of the adoption process.

Jasmine now “officially” joins a family that includes her biological brother Mekhi, who was also fostered and adopted; Angela’s son Jalil, who is from a previous marriage; and Anali, who was fostered by the Bostons at the same time as Mekhi and eventually adopted.

The Boston family’s story has inspired many. Jasmine was born two and a half months premature to a drug-addicted mother on Oct. 7, 2010. State workers knew the Bostons had cared for Mekhi, so they contacted the family about possibly fostering Jasmine, who was spending weeks recovering in the ICU and weighed only 2.5 pounds at birth.


Angela and Heath Boston with Jasmine

Tom Perkins | For

At the time, Angela Boston was recovering from reconstructive surgery on her foot. If the family did take Jasmine as a foster child, it meant Heath had to take care of his wife, two young sons and a sick infant.

There was no hesitation.

“It was tough, but I took it in stride and knew there was a reason it was happening,’ Heath said. “I didn’t even hesitate when they asked; I just said ‘Yes.’”

The Department of Human Service will put a child in foster care in situations when he or she is born to a drug addicted parent, but always first tries to return the child to the family. But that environment must be safe, and the agency found neglect or abuse in about 22,000 of the 79,000 cases they investigated in 2010, and that led to about 8,000 kids placed in foster care.

While the DHS was already familiar with and trusted the Bostons, the birth mother was given the option of turning her life around to get her child back, as is standard practice. Mothers working to get their child back can be required to take a variety of measures including voluntary rehabilitation, drug screening or parenting classes.

In Jasmine’s case, the birth mother opted not to make any changes. Jasmine’s grandmother showed some interest in caring for her, but the Bostons met with the woman, and Angela said she felt at ease that Jasmine would be safe after the meeting.

Once the family is no longer showing effort to get the child back, social workers put into process a “permanency plan.” The mother's parenting rights are terminated, and the state becomes the child’s legal guardian.


The Boston family.

Tom Perkins | For

The Bostons then went through the same adoption process they had for Anali and Mekhi that included drug tests, background checks, financial checks, physicals and other screenings.

The state determined that the Bostons were fit for parenting and were providing safe foster care for Jasmine, and the adoption went much quicker than they imagined it would, Heath said.

“We just prayed through the whole adoption process that everything would go well and there wouldn’t be any hiccups,” Heath said. “There haven’t been so far and there won’t be at this point, and we’re grateful.”

While talking with workers from the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange in September, Heath mentioned how special it would be if the adoption could happen on National Adoption Day.

Jasmine’s adoption became official in court, and the Bostons, who champion adoption, foster parenting and their own family, were excited to be able to celebrate Jasmine's adoption on that day.

“I’m kind of speechless about it. I can’t put it into words how special this is,” Heath said. "I knew it was coming, and it's like a due date coming for a newborn. I posted on my Facebook page that my wife and I are just so overwhelmed with emotion, and we can't believe this is finally happening."


Heath and Jasmine Boston.

Tom Perkins | For

Angela said she is pleased the visits from state workers will come to an end and the name change will be official, but she said she has felt like Jasmine has been her girl the whole time.

The rest of the family has taken to its newest member, too. She said Jasmine, who remains underweight at 13 months, rough houses with her brothers and plays with action figures instead of dolls.

“I finally have a little girl but I have a tomboy,” Angela laughed. “She plays, she tackles, she takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. She’s still girly, but she fusses.”

Despite the full house, Angela said the family is open to foster parenting another child, though she isn’t certain about adoption..

“I have one 16-year old who is going to leave out of the house and that’s going to leave a room open,” she said. "There is just so much need out there."

“Most people say that we’re crazy to have so many kids so young and in some way we are, but they’re wonderful kids,” Heath said.



Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 5:14 p.m.

Every time a child is adopted, his/her original birth certificate (the child's truthful documentation of birth) is permanently sealed. He/she is issued a falsified birth certificate called an "amended birth certificate" that lists the adoptive parents as the child's biological parents. This falsifying of an innocent, voiceless child's birth record is discrimination and should be illegal. Do the children know they will NEVER be allowed to possess their truthful birth certificates? Average Joe's serve hard time in federal prison for falsifying identity documents, yet it is done legally all over this country in vital records' offices with the permission of judges and barbaric, antiquated state laws. The United States Constitution is violated every single time a person's birth certificate is sealed and falsified.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.

God bless you, Boston family! You're a lovely family, and I wish you a wonderful, blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving and Christmas season.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

The Law of Individuality and Creation : I must thank 'MARA' for the comment posted and for sharing information about adoption procedures. In India, I have witnessed adoption functions, and the child grows up in an adopted home with full awareness about biological parents. The human being always comes into existence as a new, original, distinctive, and one of its own kind of object. The new genome has not existed in the past, and would not exist in future. The human being has no choice other than that of existing as an Individual with Individuality. Hence, I describe man as a created being and the Creator knows the object before it is formed. The creation of man begins as a thought in the mind of the Creator. Human conception is not a random, unguided event. It has the characteristics of a plan inspired by imagination and application of creative skill. We give importance to the Father and Mother Principle as we consider human conception as a planned event. It is immoral, and unethical to alter the true birth record of any infant and woud urge Mara and other readers to pursue this issue to rectify the error in adoption procedures followed by the State.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

Congratulations and God Bless your family! It takes very special people to open their lives to adopted children. My sister is adopted and I do believe that adoptive parents are angels on earth!

Ann English

Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 12:10 a.m.

I take it you're not Corey Friedman, who has an older adopted sister. In Hal Friedman's and James Patterson's nonfiction book Against Medical Advice, Hal's son Corey calls his mother his angel. The story ends with Corey attending Syracuse University. The Friedmans were living in New Jersey.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

Very nice story. Good luck to them all.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

Congrats to you and your beautiful Family! Very inspiring story.