When Indiana couple Patty and Mike got approved to adopt from the state's foster care system, they were initially looking for a child between the ages of 6 and 10. That all changed at an event last year where they met and clicked with a teenager, Scarlet. "I told my husband, 'There's something about this girl, I really liked her,'" Patty, who declined to give the couple's surname, tells Good Morning America. "My husband said, 'I have this feeling—we need to adopt her.'" The couple soon submitted paperwork to do just that, and 17-year-old Scarlet—who moved in with the couple in December of last year, per IndyStar—officially became their daughter at an adoption ceremony last month. She also gained three siblings; Patty says, "She acts just like my other kids ... It's like she was meant to be there."
Scarlet had been in an out of foster care since she was a baby, and had been in the system a total of 4,057 days. She had been in 36 different placements before finding her forever family. Patty says the teen has had a "rough life" and has been through things no child should have to experience. "I told her, 'I wish I could've met you earlier and I wish I could take [the bad times] away,' but all I can do is make it good for her from now on," she says. "When she said this was going to be her first official holiday with her real family and that she never had that before, that really tore me up." Adds Scarlet herself, "I finally get to have a family that I can just talk to whenever and people who actually understand me. ... The holidays mean so much more with my forever family." (The Force was with this 4-year-old at her adoption ceremony.)