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Family Adopts 21 Year Old in Luzerne County

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WILKES-BARRE -- From time to time, you'll hear stories about families adopting children. But in Luzerne County, a 21 year old was adopted.

Brittany Ogurkis bounced around among five different foster homes as a child, but it was her former college professor who ended up taking her in and making her a permanent part of the family.

"I'm still in disbelief honestly," exclaimed Brittany.

Three years ago, Lorine Ogurkis, a professor at Luzerne County Community College mentioned in class that she had just adopted a little boy, which prompted Brittany to speak up and share her own story.

"We had this beautiful relationship from that day forward," said Lorine Ogurkis.

A relationship that grew and grew as Brittany became just one of the Ogurkis' five children, leading up to this special day.

"I feel like the days were going by so slow, but I feel like I got here so quick," Brittany added. "I still can't believe it. I have all these happy emotions inside and it's so exciting I have butterflies."

But the story doesn't end with Brittany's adoption because Brittany was the inspiration for a non-profit in Hazleton called Brandon's Forever Home, a center on North Church Street meant to help raise awareness about children in foster care and their need for permanent homes.

"When you see one child lacking all these life experiences, you know that it's not just Brittany," Lorine added.

And that someone is never too old to find a home.

"I am an adult but I still deserve a family," said Brittany.

Brittany now works as a paralegal with her mother.

As for Brandon's Forever Home, the Ogurkis' say they're working to expand the program into Lackawanna County and trying to add more mentors to foster teens in need.

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