Hundreds of kids were adopted Saturday as part of National Adoption Day in Phoenix, including one family CBS 5 News introduced to you a year ago.
The Maher family is happy to have now, Ethan Maher, 7, as a permanent member.
"I've been waiting for this day," said his adopted mother, Kaitlin Maher, 24.
For Kaitlin Maher and Ethan, it's been a long journey that came down to an anxious wait in a Phoenix courthouse hallway.
At 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning at the Durango Juvenile Court Center, Kaitlin Maher waited for the official ceremony to adopt Ethan.
"I've been almost crying all day," said Kaitlin Maher.
The wait to make them family forever was almost over.
"I'm just nervous," she said while she waited.
CBS 5 News first introduced you to the pair last September as one of the CBS 5 News Pay It Forward recipients.
Ethan was one of Kaitlin Maher's students at Highland Park Elementary School in Gilbert, where she teaches severely handicapped children.
Ethan is also handicapped and requires a great deal of care. One day his biological mother said she just couldn't do it anymore. So Kaitlin Maher became his foster parent.
"We connected on such a different level, him and I, that I couldn't have passed up the chance to have him," she said.
In her early 20s and still living at home, she started the process to adopt. Saturday morning, nearly one year later, that day finally came. Flanked by an entourage of friends and family, Kaitlin Maher and Ethan's wait was over.
"Congratulations, the adoption is final," said the judge inside a brief adoption ceremony.
"Thank you," said Kaitlin Maher as she started to cry.
Those in the room started to clap as Kaitlin Maher said, "We did it!"
The two are now family, officially.
"It's Ethan. I don't think I could do it for anyone else. It's just, he's so perfect," said Kaitlin Maher.
She said her school has bought two tickets for them to go to Disney Land and she hopes to take Ethan next year.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:01 AM EDT2013-05-19 05:01:02 GMT
Crash victim Juan Rodriguez with his fiance Amanda Lujan.
You hear a lot about deadly accidents involving motorcycles A Valley couple wants to share their story in hopes drivers will pay more attention to bikers on the road. "The fourth of July, Juan proposed,More >
You hear a lot about deadly accidents involving motorcycles. A Valley couple wants to share their story in hopes drivers will pay more attention to bikers on the road.More >
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:54 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:54:18 GMT
Scottsdale police say a body found in a canal has been identified as a man who was reported missing after he failed to return from a bicycle ride earlier this week. A police officer discovered the bodyMore >
A police officer discovered the body of 78-year-old Edward Allan Brawley on Saturday morning near Hayden Road and Indian Bend.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Tuesday, May 14 2013 8:25 PM EDT2013-05-15 00:25:14 GMT
Amy's Baking Company was featured on Kitchen Nightmares season finale, and let's just say things didn't go well. For the first time in the show's history it's host, Gordon Ramsay walked away. The showMore >
Scottsdale restaurant owners made a big splash on national television for being impossible to work with, and now it appears they've taken their bad attitudes to the internet. Or have they?More >
Sunday, May 19 2013 7:12 PM EDT2013-05-19 23:12:38 GMT
2 Phoenix first responders killed
A 23-year-old firefighter is in surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. Officials told CBS 5 he is in extremely critical condition after being crushed between two fire vehicles. The firefighter wasMore >
Phoenix police officer Daryl Raetz, 29, and Phoenix firefighter Bradley Harper, 23, died within six hours of each other from injuries suffered in two separate incidents.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:06 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:06:03 GMT
The mayor of Phoenix is calling Groceries for Guns the largest buyback program in state history. In fact, Greg Stanton said nearly 2,000 guns are now off the street and unable to fall into the hands ofMore >
The mayor of Phoenix is calling Groceries for Guns the largest buyback program in state history. In fact, Greg Stanton said nearly 2,000 guns are now off the street and unable to fall into the hands of criminals.More >
Wednesday, May 15 2013 2:57 PM EDT2013-05-15 18:57:11 GMT
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well. An Arizona bakery was featured on Friday's episode of the Gordon RamseyMore >
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well.More >