It took only six months, but Dustin Cole now wears a different expression on his face, happiness as opposed to sadness.
"He is no longer skipping school. He is talking about going to college and playing football.
'I'm not having to go worry about where I'm going to go next,' the 15-year-old said Friday.
He now has a stability with two men who care, men he can trust to protect his best interests.
Ken Boman, 50, and Brian Cole, 49, adopted Dustin and his brother John Cole, 14, on Friday in the courtroom of Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson."
Bowman and Cole have been together about 20 years. They have adopted four teenage boys, among the most difficult for social service agencies to permanently place. They are currently working toward adopting a fifth son, a 9-year-old who is now in foster care.
The children have varying backgrounds, having been abandoned, chronically homeless, or affected by drugs.
"Rico Cole, born to a 13-year-old girl, has been in more than 20 different foster homes.
He 'sabotaged' placements and tried, unsuccessfully, to sabotage this one too, said Bowman and Cole. 'I love them because they don't give up on me,' Rico said with damp eyes. 'They care about me.'
The teens have tested their fathers - affectionately called 'Dad one' and 'Dad two' - in various ways, but Brian Cole, the softie, and Boman, the enforcer, argue teens in foster care are not the troublemakers some might believe. They are not going to burn down the house, Cole said.
'Not this week anyway,' Dustin joked."
The children were given the choice of whether or not to be placed with the same sex couple, to which they all agreed. Blood relatives of some of the children that were deemed unable to care for the children say that this adoption was a long time coming and they are excited to see them in loving homes.