Incredible story of Arizona school principal who adopted neglected 12-year-old girl, RAVEN WHITAKER-SMITH, covered in head lice and bruises after she was sent to his office to be REPRIMANDED
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An Arizona teen, who was living in inhumane conditions in a group home when she was twelve, has revealed she is now thriving after being adopted by her school principal years ago.

Raven Whitaker-Smith, now 18, lived in a group home and said the conditions were so poor she had lice, dirty fingernails and bruises along her body.

Seven years ago, Raven met Jason Smith, the principal of Campbell County Middle School, after she was reprimanded for throwing food in the school cafeteria.

As she explained herself, Raven revealed the horrific living conditions she had been enduring pulling at Smith’s heartstrings.

Heartbroken by her story, Smith and his wife Marybeth, who had been grappling with the trauma of infertility, decided they wanted to help.

The couple first fostered Raven before officially adopting her in 2017. It was their love and commitment that saw the now 18-year-old working towards becoming a social worker at the University of Kentucky.

Raven Whitaker-Smith, now 18, was just eleven-years-old when she met Jason Smith, the principal of Campbell County Middle School, who would later become her dad

Raven Whitaker-Smith, now 18, was just eleven-years-old when she met Jason Smith, the principal of Campbell County Middle School, who would later become her dad

Raven Whitaker-Smith pictured with her parents Jason and Marybeth Smith

Raven Whitaker-Smith pictured with her parents Jason and Marybeth Smith 

Campbell County Middle School in Arizona where Whitaker-Smith would meet her future dad and school principal, Jason Smith

Campbell County Middle School in Arizona where Whitaker-Smith would meet her future dad and school principal, Jason Smith 

Speaking to Local 12 News, Raven admitted that without the Smith’s she would probably be dead.

‘We had head lice, we had bruises all up and down us, our fingernails were all gross and stuff,’ she said. 

‘Honestly, I wouldn’t be alive. I probably would have gone down a completely different path.’

Raven’s father and former principal shared his own harrowing experience prior to adopting his new daughter.

Jason said he and his wife had fostered before but ran into problems previously leading to some hesitation before they took Raven in.

‘It just crushed us, so we made the decision, probably more so me, that my heart couldn’t take another break like that,’ Marybeth said.

The couple took it slow first having Raven spend the weekend with them so they could get to know one another.

The happy family together at a baseball game in an undated photo

The happy family together at a baseball game in an undated photo 

The couple first fostered Whitaker-Smith and officially adopted her in 2017. The young girl, who has two loving and supportive parents, is working towards a degree in social work and hopes to help others one day

The couple first fostered Whitaker-Smith and officially adopted her in 2017. The young girl, who has two loving and supportive parents, is working towards a degree in social work and hopes to help others one day

But after the first visit, the bond was instant between the trio, and continues till this day.

‘They say that a mother falls in love with their child at first sight and I can remember Raven walking into that room that day, that scared little kid, and I just knew in my heart this is what’s supposed to be,’ Marybeth explained.

Raven said it was a quick shift from being a student to family. 

‘The same weekend we went and painted by bedroom my favorite color, teal,’ she said.

‘I just knew that everything happens for a reason.’

Jason expressed how proud he is of Raven for overcoming so many challenges at such a young age, a sentiment echoed by Marybeth. 

‘If you’re out there and you’re thinking about fostering a kid, don’t be afraid to take a teenager,’ she said.

‘I couldn’t love her anymore if I had given birth to her.’



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