Tristan Jacobson has been living with foster mom Donnie Davis in Springfield, Missouri, for four years. He's always felt like Davis and her husband were his family, but the almost $10,000 adoption costs were the only thing standing in the way of it becoming official.
"He's already a part of our family," Davis told KYTV. "In mine and my husband's hearts, that's our son. Nobody can tell us any different; that is our son. He wants to be legally ours."
So, the enterprising third grader took it upon himself to raise the money for legal and adoption fees by hosting a lemonade stand and yard sale. He and Davis also created a campaign on YouCaring.
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"She will be my parent," Tristan told the News-Leader. "I'm happy because I have a new mom who loves me."
Davis became Tristan Jacobson's guardian four years ago when Tristan's mom abandoned her then 5-year-old son, leaving him on the doorstep of a shelter in 17-degree weather.
Andrew Jansen / The Springfield News-Leader / AP
Davis took custody of the young boy, enrolling him in preschool, securing much-needed medical care and helping him through emotional problems resulting from years of abuse. Tristan is now a happy third grader who is earning straight A's, but he longs to make his new life official through a formal adoption and by taking Davis's last name.
"I know she’s responsible, taking care of me," he said of his guardian. "I know she's going to be a great mother."
Now, Tristan will get his wish. When news spread about Tristan's lemonade stand, people traveled from all over to meet the young boy and buy a $1 cup of lemonade.
Davis said the lemonade stand and yard sale raised $7,100. An additional $11,000 has been raised on YouCaring. Davis added that any money after the cost of the adoption will be put towards Tristan's education.
“There's not enough words to say 'thank you' to everyone who has shown support or given us donations," Davis said. "Everyone has made this possible. We will make sure this child will forever be ours."