17-year-old is adopted after 3,739 days in foster care and 24 different homes
Mom said her teen, Akyra, "let herself be loved again."
A 17-year-old has found a forever home after spending a decade in the foster care system.
Akyra Holstein was adopted in Kentucky on Sept. 25 by Katie Holstein. Akyra had gone through 24 different placements over 3,739 days.
"The thing I love about her most is how resilient she is," Katie Holstein told "Good Morning America." "Even though she's been in foster care for so long only to be disappointed, she took a chance on me and my family and let herself be loved again."
Holstein began fostering children in August 2017. She's assisted other foster parents with respite care, where she'd take in foster kids on a short-term basis.
Akyra came into Holstein's care in March 2019 through respite care.
"Then she came again in March 2020 for the last time, and she stayed," Holstein said. "She'd been here for a couple months at that point and I couldn't imagine her not be here."
Holstein was fostering several children when she began the adoption process for Akyra -- including a baby named Thomas, whom she also fell in love with.
She took a chance on me and my family and let herself be loved again.
"He was 6 days old and spent a little time in the NICU," Holtein said, adding that she nicknamed Thomas "Tiny." "When he came to me he was itty bitty and it kind of stuck."
Holstein adopted both Akyra and 1-year-old Thomas on the same day, at the request of Akyra, via Zoom. Family, friends and Akyra's case worker were all present for the event, which was captured on Zoom video.
"She would walk through fire for that kid," Holtein said of Akyra's case worker. "I firmly believe Akyra is as strong as she is because she had her in her corner."
Holtein said Akyra will graduate high school in May. Although mom wants her to stay home and attend community college, Akyra wants to go away and prepare for a career in law enforcement.
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