A South Carolina foster mom adopted a little girl in her care just in time for Thanksgiving.
According to ABC News, Melissa Birchmore officially adopted her foster daughter Jeneva, 5, on Nov. 21 at Sumter County Family Court.
“It felt like the world was lifted off my shoulders,” Birchmore told ABC News. “It was a feeling that you can’t describe. [Jeneva] is pretty excited. She understands she is what she calls [herself], ‘my forever girl.’ She came in and she meshed and fit and it’s never been her plan to leave.”
Birchmore, 52, said she has been a foster mom since 2009. She has fostered 14 children.
Birchmore said that before Jeneva was in her care, she was a victim of neglect and “bounced around” the homes of various relatives. She said that after Jeneva was placed in her care in 2013, the two immediately developed a special bond.
“From the beginning, I loved her and didn’t want her to go anywhere,” she said.
“She came in and made herself at home,” Birchmore added. “She was meant to belong. She’s very much a girly girl. Even though she’s a little bit sassy, she demands that she fits in and be included. She’s very fun-loving. She adapts to whatever her surroundings are.”
Birchmore said that Jeneva is excited to celebrate her first Thanksgiving as a Birchmore and wants to “cook with mommy.”