When Tristan Jacobson was just 5, his mother left him on the stoop of a Springfield, Mo., homeless shelter in 17-degree weather and went back to her addiction.
A year later, Donnie Davis and her husband, Jimmy, onetime friends of the boy's mother, took Tristan in, and he has stayed with them ever since. Now the family is looking to formally adopt Tristan, who is now 9, a process that was going to cost upward of $5,000.
The family started a YouGiving page in hopes that donations would help offset the cost.
Tristan, wanting to do all he could to help, opened a lemonade stand to help raise money for his adoption, and in a weekend, as word spread, he raised more than $7,000.
"There’s not enough words to say thank you to everyone who has shown support or given us donations," Davis told the Springfield News-Leader. "Everyone has made this possible. We will make sure this child will forever be ours."
His parents told the newspaper that any extra money would go toward Tristan's education.
Tristan's adoptive mom said that when Tristan was 4, she began noticing a difference.
"Shortly before he turned 4, I could notice a huge difference in his physical appearance, clothes being dirty and not fitting and in her activity in both of her boys life," Davis said of Tristan and his biological mom on the YouGiving page. "For the next year, it got worse and worse. Long story short, we found out that she had been doing drugs and had been prostituting to get money for drugs."
Davis went on to describe the horrible conditions Tristan was subjected to while with his birth mother.
"She would take him with her when she would meet men for sex, she would allow her multiple boyfriends to beat on him, she would leave him alone in her apartment, he was always in his little brothers clothes, they hadn’t been washed, he witnessed sexual acts between her and other woman and men," she wrote.
"He was locked in a dark room at night and had to listen to her being beat by the multiple boyfriends. This is just a small listing of all of the abuse that he went thru," she continued.
According to the newspaper, Tristan set up the stand on Friday afternoon, offering cold glasses of lemonade for $1 each. He raised some $7,100 in donations by Saturday.
"It means everything. He is absolutely our son. He is in our hearts," Davis said.
"This is more for reassurance for him, knowing that he has his forever family and he has our name," she said.
Read more at the Springfield News-Leader.