DENVER (CBS4) – The Adoption Exchange has been making family connections in Colorado for 39 years. CBS4 has been partnered with them the entire time, profiling kids they work with on a segment called Wednesday’s Child.

Wayne Vaughan was one of the first children profiled on Wednesday’s Child in 1981. He was adopted in 1982, sending him on a journey that included a loving extended family.

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“How has adoption shaped your life?” asked CBS4’s Britt Moreno.

“Well, it changed my life. I have a family that loves me. I wouldn’t have a family if I wasn’t adopted,” Vaughan replied.

“Tell us a little bit about the adoption process, what do you remember about it?” Moreno asked.

“I just remember my Dad saw me on TV … on Wednesday’s Child,” Vaughan explained.

Vaughan has developmental delays, and has suffered from significant health issues, but with the support of his adoptive family he’s held a very full life. He drives, had two jobs, and has advocated for the Adoption Exchange over the years.

“Wayne is just… he’s such a superstar in life, and he’s always been such a superstar. He’s been a huge part of our family from day one, and quite frankly yes, I was aware that he was adopted but it was never a talking point in our family. Wayne was just…he’s part of our family. Wayne has had a lot of health challenges throughout his life, as well, and had to over come a lot. And he’s been such an inspiration for everybody in our family, and it’s taught us all a lot about unconditional love. And the way that Wayne loves on everybody else, is just amazing,” said former Broncos player Tyler Polumbus, Wayne’s cousin.

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Polumbus grew up watching how his family members related to and accepted Vaughan.

“Seeing the way that Wayne has changed our families life has been incredible. Wayne is my cousin. He is not in my direct family, but seeing the way he changed his families life, and the love his parents and brother, and sisters all have for him, it’s just incredible. I think the amazing part about adoption is, yes, you’re providing life and providing a support system for someone who desperately needs it. But, I think, you get so much out of it as well. I know the Vaughan family would feel that way. I think, seeing kids like Wayne come from a tough situation where they need a family and they’ve got all these health concerns, and Wayne has cystic fibrosis, and he needed a support system where he could thrive. Watching all that just come to fruition, and thrive in ways that no body really knew how it was going to go, I mean, it’s just changed everybody’s life for the better. And we’re just so grateful to have Wayne in our life,” Polumbus told CBS4.

“What would you tell people, Tyler, who are considering adoption?” Moreno asked.

“Well, I would just say, if you’ve got the ability, and you’ve got the resources, and you’ve got the home, you’ll be amazed at the way that it’s going to change many people’s lives. And not just the kid’s life, not just your family’s life, but generational impact, and so it’s an incredibly important deal. That if anybody out there is considering, I just hope now would be a fantastic time, as much as ever to consider it deeply,” Polumbus said.

The Adoption Exchange is expert at making connections between children in foster care and caring adults. You can make a donation or get more information about adoption by calling The Adoption Exchange at (303) 755-4756.

Libby Smith

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