Ke’onte came into state care in 2006 just before his seventh birthday. He was a bright, articulate and fun loving boy. But he also was having emotional issues and meltdowns. There were allegations that Ke’onte and his siblings had been abused and neglected by his mother and aunt.
He began working with a CASA volunteer, Teri Yates, around the same time. Teri and the state worked hard to find a permanent placement for Ke’onte. He was featured on the state adoption website, and twice appeared on the "Wednesday’s Child" adoption series on Dallas TV. His CASA volunteer stayed involved during the process—visiting him, taking him to visit families and helping move him and his belongings to different foster homes. He had some close encounters with families that were considering adopting him but ultimately decided against it. Ke’onte’s disappointment came out in the forms of meltdowns, self-destructive behavior and school difficulties.
Finally in the fall of 2009, Ke’onte appeared again on Wednesday’s Child. A case worker emailed the story to a couple who had been considering adopting a child. They immediately saw that Ke’onte was special. "We knew he needed a family who wouldn’t give up on him." He came to visit them in the fall and everyone immediately felt comfortable. They decided to adopt him shortly afterward.
When Teri, his CASA volunteer, called to tell him the good news, he said tearfully: "You mean they picked me? Out of anyone else in the world, they picked me?" He was able to move into their home just before Christmas 2009, and the adoption became official in June 2010.