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Florida girl, 2, adopted by family over Zoom after 700 days in foster care

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One Florida family is celebrating the adoption of the 2-year-old girl who has lived with them in foster care since she was 7 days old. As the local county courthouse remains closed during the coronavirus pandemic, the toddler’s adoption hearing commenced over Zoom and was followed by a sweet car parade by members of their foster care community.

Little Isla was recently, formally adopted by foster parents Cayela and Evan Moody, who have cared for the toddler for over 700 days, Action News Jax reports. Surrounded by her mom, dad, four older siblings and another foster child in the family’s care, Isla became a Moody during a virtual adoption hearing conducted via Zoom by a judge from the Duval County Courthouse, per CBS News.

Isla Moody on her adoption day, pictured.

Isla Moody on her adoption day, pictured. (Robin Angell Photography)

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Evan said that his family had “an immediate connection” to Isla after welcoming her into their home and life at just one week old. Though the Jacksonville couple submitted all the paperwork to adopt the little girl in February, the process was left in limbo when the coronavirus pandemic hit soon after.

The Moody family, pictured, adopted little Isla in an official court hearing via Zoom last month, as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

The Moody family, pictured, adopted little Isla in an official court hearing via Zoom last month, as the COVID-19 crisis continues. (Robin Angell Photography)

Fortunately, judicial officials have been able to continue with some proceedings through video chat, according to Action News Jax.

On April 30, the family gathered in their living room for the emotional adoption court. Then, the judge electronically signed the finalization, declaring Isla’s adoption.

As if the happy moment couldn’t get any sweeter, the Moody’s were greeted by a spirited car parade by members of their foster care community group Fostering Hope and other friends soon after, celebrating the good news, CBS News reports.

Isla Moody and one of her older sisters, pictured.

Isla Moody and one of her older sisters, pictured. (Robin Angell Photography)

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“Foster children need people that are willing to raise their hands and say, 'I can be forever,’” Cayela Moody said.

“Foster children need people that are willing to raise their hands and say, 'I can be forever,’” Cayela Moody said. (Robin Angell Photography)

"I thought we would plan a party to thank everyone who loved her after social distancing restrictions were limited," Cayela told the outlet. "But, I also knew that they truly wanted to be a part of the day."

"Because Evan is in the military, we sadly do not have family close,” she continued. “So, the parade consisted of a lot of Fostering Hope members, other foster families we have walked alongside, and some of our church members as well.”

Well-wishers on Isla Moody's adoption day.

Well-wishers on Isla Moody's adoption day. (Robin Angell Photography)

As May is Foster Care Awareness Month, the proud mom hopes Isla’s story inspires others to open their hearts and minds to the opportunity.

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“Foster children need people that are willing to raise their hands and say, 'I can be forever,’” she said.