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THE CITY OF OKLAHOMA (KFOR) – A family has a special reason to be thankful for Thanksgiving – spending their first vacation together after adopting two teenage boys.

One of them was adopted just 8 days before he turned 18 and was released from DHS custody.

As you can imagine, the journey to adoption in 2020 was different, like everything else this year, but they hope to encourage others to welcome new members into their families.

For John and Jennifer Honeycutt, the journey to adoption began 15 years ago, when they got married.

“John already had two children from a previous marriage and he asked me if I wanted to have children,” Jennifer said.

They decided it was not a good time to add to their family.

“With the plan we would adopt at a later date,” Jennifer said.

This later date arrived in July 2020.

They were ready to adopt two children – teenagers in particular.

“I just wouldn’t have been able to keep up with a toddler or for that matter even as an elementary child,” John said.

Looking at the Oklahoma Heart Gallery website, the couple ran into a 17-year-old named Devon and his younger brother, Ryan.

“It was somewhere between providence and chance,” John said.

Due to COVID-19, their first meeting was via video chat.

A week later, they met in person – and knew it was a perfect fit.

A DHS team worked tirelessly to help them adopt Devon before he was an adult and on September 30, just 8 days before Devon’s 18th birthday – the two boys’ adoption was finalized.

“It happened really quickly and I’m grateful for it,” said Ryan.

For Ryan, it’s the little things that many of us take for granted.

“I can finally do track and field at school,” Ryan said. “There is a lot more freedom. I can leave the house at any time.

DHS representatives told News 4 “Adopting teenagers is a lot more like marriage than childbirth; Imperfect people who have decided to love and fight for each other even when it is difficult.

That’s what this family found here.

“We feel lucky,” John said.

Devon and Ryan’s adoption was hastened because Devon was aging out of custody.

Officials at Honeycutts and DHS want to remind everyone that adoption is usually a long process, so be patient.

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