Jaron was just 3 years old when we first met him.
A foster child since birth, he was diagnosed with shaken baby syndrome and any prospective adoptive families would be told he could have developmental delays.
But one family watching Wednesday’s Child on NBC4 years ago saw something special in Jaron.
“The day I saw him it was on television — your show — and for some reason it was like a magnet, like ‘we want that child,” recounted Earl Taylor.
“We had just started the process when we got an assignment here in the Washington, D.C. area,” Sarah said.
They had found a home, but the timing was off. The Taylors needed to get settled, but Sarah called to ask about Jaron anyway.
“We knew that [he] was the the one we wanted to try to adopt,” Earl said.
“I said, if I can’t have that one, then I don’t want any,” Sarah said.
The call led to several visits with Jaron, and Earl said they knew from the first visit that there was no turning back.
“The first day that I saw him, he came up to me and he asked. He said, ‘Are you my daddy?'” Earl said. “And I said, yes, I am.”
It didn’t take long for Jaron to bond with Sarah as well. She was convinced on his first overnight visit.
“One evening, we were in my bedroom watching television and he looked up at me at said, ‘you know, I love you,” Sarah recounted. “I just didn’t know what to do after that.”
Although social workers had warned about the long-term affects of Jaron’s mistreatment as an infant, the Taylors decided to use their own brand of healing for their son.
“The ladies were advocating that he needed to have Ritalin and he was ADHD and all that,” Earl said. “I told them, no, all he needs is love and all he needs is attention and direction.”
The Taylors brough Jaron home to his new brick house and the years just seemed to fly by.
He still remembers things about coming home the first time at just 3 years old.
“I guess the main one would be in the driveway asking my dad, ‘Are you my dad?'”
Jaron says he also remembers his dad responding with a yes.
Those were tender moments with two career military parents who could be tough, too, Jaron told NBC4’s Barbara Harrison.
“Tough but not pushy. They got the job done. Here I am now,” he said with a laugh.
His parents are very proud of the man Jaron has become after overcoming challenges, including the shaken baby syndrome that led some to say he would never run or ride a bike.
“A lot of the things they told us that he couldn’t do or he wouldn’t be able to do, he’s done,” Sarah said. “When you’re a police officer, you have to run.”
Jaron remains close with his parents, teaching martial arts classes with mom Sarah in Fort Washington and cheering on the Redskins with dad Earl.
This article was originally published by NBCPhiladelphia.com.
Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.