Coleman Hamilton’s parents were struggling with drug addiction when he was born. Then, eight weeks after his birth, he was diagnosed with an uncommon infant digestive condition known as pyloric stenosis.
By the time Coleman was brought to the hospital, BuzzFeed reports, he was malnourished, and harmful drugs were found in his system. He was rushed to a children’s hospital to undergo surgery.@Valerie_Blaine/Twitter
According to the family, Child Protective Services (CPS) got involved in the baby’s care immediately after his diagnosis.
Blaine Hamilton, Coleman’s 21-year-old cousin, told BuzzFeed that CPS contacted her family and asked if anyone could help raise the baby:
“My parents were like, ‘We’ll take him. We’ll go to the hospital.'”
Blaine’s parents, Randy and Kaysi, had one week to prepare the house and get ready to care for an infant again. They already had three children living in their home in Alvord, Texas.
Kaysi’s brother is Coleman’s father. As a loving aunt, she wanted the young boy to stay in the family.
The family worked hard to get the food, clothing, and house-proofing materials needed to care for a new baby. They were moved when people in their small community stepped forward to donate their extra items.
Then Coleman came home:
The Hamiltons embraced the change of life and enjoyed having a new baby around the house:
Soon Coleman started eating and properly digesting his food. In a few weeks, the baby started gaining weight:
He was surrounded by people who cared about him. His aunt, uncle, and cousins all took shifts watching him after work and school:
By the time Coleman celebrated his first birthday, he looked like he was ready to take on the world:
On July 20, a few months after his first birthday, Coleman’s parents terminated their parental rights. The Hamiltons started the paperwork to formally adopt the chubby little boy they loved so much.
In less than 30 days, Coleman will officially be a member of the Hamilton family.
Blaine couldn’t be more excited. She posted her favorite milestones over the past year on Twitter:
— blaine (@Valerie_Blaine) July 21, 2017
Her tweet has since been retweeted more than 128,000 times and liked more than 539,000 times.
It also prompted a conversation about the many other people who are going experiencing recovery and adoption. Several people posted their family photos alongside Blaine’s:
adopted these three beautiful girls 10 years ago.. all three born with fetal alcohol syndrome & the youngest born cocaine positive pic.twitter.com/MNNvKfCm7L
— lög (@whoaa_its_logan) July 21, 2017
My family took my bro in at 2 weeks from drug addict parents who didn't want him. 8 years old today & he is the smartest/most handsome kid. pic.twitter.com/QPj1HOn22P
— travis jones (@travispjones) July 22, 2017
my family did the same thing. baby boy is healthy as can be now. ? pic.twitter.com/orTap89Bxs
— amber (@honeythoughtts) July 21, 2017
I can relate to this so much! He was taken from his drug addict parents @ 3 weeks old and given to us. 8 months now but not ours just yet!?? pic.twitter.com/FootXUb8Ww
— gillian (@gilliansyzrp) July 22, 2017
According to Pew Charitable Trusts, the U.S. currently isn’t collecting data on the number of children removed from their parents due to drug abuse.
But, based on individual state reports, it suggests that the rise in drug addiction has led to an unprecedented number of foster children.
For example, in the state of Texas, where Coleman was born, the Dallas News reports that there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of foster children in the CPS system. Some children have reportedly been sleeping in the CPS office due to a shortage of homes.
Coleman was fortunate to be placed in the care of his family where he could recover and receive familial support.
Blaine wrote on Twitter that her little cousin, and soon-to-be brother, couldn’t believe all of the attention his story had received online:
update: he's shocked by all the love pic.twitter.com/CQvX2DE6Fh
— blaine (@Valerie_Blaine) July 21, 2017
But she admitted to BuzzFeed that Coleman wasn’t the only person who had changed over the past year.
Her family had also been moved by the strength and resilience of the little boy they had come to love: “We’ve all changed because of him. We all became different people because of each other. We all grew.”