The 32-year-old man who was adopted on Friday in a San Diego Juvenile courtroom by his foster mother from whom he was ripped apart almost 20 year ago said that “She’s my mother. She has always been my mother.” And Maurice Griffin’s now finally official mother Lisa Godbold said that “This completes the circle. He’s always been my son, but this just completes the circle,” as San Diego’s 7News reported on March 15, 2013.
The circle that the now 32-year-old adopted Maurice Griffin’s mother is referring to began about 29 years ago when Maurice Griffin was only three years old.
After having been abandoned as a baby in San Francisco, Maurice had found a foster home with Lisa and her husband Charles. Lisa and her husband got involved in foster care because they wanted to adopt three-year-old Maurice.
The next 10 years were Maurice’s and his foster family’s happiest years. Maurice, Lisa, Charles, and their two biological sons lived a happy and fulfilled family life that for the once abandoned baby was a dream come true.
That dream was shattered when Maurice was 13 years old.
While San Diego’s 7News wrote that Maurice and his mother “didn’t want to get into specifics about why Griffin was taken from the family,” San Diego’s Fox5 News reported that Maurice was ripped away from his loving family by the foster care system because of the most unusual request of a 13-year-old.
Maurice wanted to be treated like Lisa's and Charles' two biological sons; “I wanted to be treated like a real son. Their sons got spanked and I didn’t,” said Maurice. When Maurice shared the information with his social worker, it backfired. “I told her they were going to be spanking me. She told her superiors and her superiors told her I had to be taken out.”
Within two weeks, and only two months before his adoption would have been final, Maurice was ripped away from his loving foster family. He couldn’t even say goodbye.
Under the threat that their own two biological sons would also be ripped away from them, Lisa and Charles were left without choice, hope, and power to do anything.
For Maurice, the next three years became a desperate struggle to return to his beloved foster family. Maurice went from one foster home where he was misused and mistreated to the next, more than a dozen of them. He never fit in nor did he want to. “Basically, in my young mind, I had decided that if I acted out everywhere, they would put me back with my family.”
But Maurice was never allowed to return to the family that had truly loved him for 10 years.
Maurice graduated from high school, went to college, and moved to San Diego where he worked. While holding on to his fond family memories, Maurice tried time and time again to find his long lost family but without any result.
Like Maurice, Lisa also never wanted to give up even after her husband Charles died. “It was torture; It broke our hearts. Not knowing where he was and not being able to have contact with him was like having a child abducted.” Lisa tried time and time again to find her long-lost son but also without any result.
About six years ago, Lisa received a phone call from a 26-year-old man and when she answered it with “Hi baby,” Maurice couldn’t speak. “I held onto her voice for so long. I told her I had to call her back. I couldn’t talk – very emotional for me.”
Lisa had found her long-lost son Maurice through the social media.
During the past years, Maurice and Lisa were able to meet frequently, to share their grief about the loss of Charles, and to look into the future. On Valentine’s Day, Maurice filed the paperwork for his adoption. “I filed on Valentine’s Day, because I wanted her to know she was my valentine.”
The circle that had begun 29 years ago was finally completed on Friday morning in San Diego’s Juvenile Court when 32-year-old Maurice was officially adopted by Lisa. Both Lisa and Maurice felt that Charles was “proudly watching over them.”