Valley Morning Star:
Carolyn Jean Durham became a mother at 9:55 a.m. Thursday.Sometimes the world puts people together who need each other. It is nice tht the courts can go along.
That’s when 103rd state District Judge Janet L. Leal signed off on Durham’s adoption of 16-year-old Christopher, who now carries Rene as his middle name and Durham as his last.
“This is one of the things we get to do that is really, really, very wonderful,” Leal said in finalizing the adoption in her busy courtroom.
“Congratulations. You are the mother of a bouncing baby boy,” she told Durham, of La Feria.
Durham, with Christopher by her side, beamed with joy in front of a diverse group of people inside Leal’s court in the Cameron County Judicial Building: friends and family, attorneys, court staff, and prisoners waiting to be processed and their families. All of whom clapped for Durham and Christopher.
“Thank you God. I have my son,” the 39-year-old Durham said.
The pair wore light blue shirts that bore the the words “Adoption Rocks.”
The road to adoption has been long for both.
Durham is a special education teacher at Elma E. Barrera Elementary School in Santa Rosa where she first met Christopher Olivarez in 1996 as his teacher.
He was 6 years old and had cerebral palsy, required a feeding tube, and was blind. Developmentally, he is an infant.
Durham has been caring for Christopher, who shares her father’s birthday, since 2002, when the state placed him under her care.
She had been trying to adopt him since 2004. In a January interview she said she already considered herself his mother.