Hardin Co. girl's adoption story featured on Wendy's cups

Published: Aug. 19, 2015 at 2:45 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2015 at 10:20 PM EDT
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Olivia Hargis (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Olivia Hargis (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Wendy's turned her illustration into an animation. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Wendy's turned her illustration into an animation. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Olivia with her family on vacation. (Source: Family photo)
Olivia with her family on vacation. (Source: Family photo)

HARDIN COUNTY, KY (WAVE) – Adopted at age 10, a Hardin County Middle school student's artwork can now be seen every time you visit a Wendy's restaurant.

Her drawing has been printed on a cup, detailing one of her first memories of being in a forever family.

While a new school year means a fresh start, this year there's even more to celebrate for Olivia Hargis, 11, a 6th grader at West Hardin Middle School.

"She was in foster care for 2,658 days, the day we adopted her," her mother, Lorie Hargis, said.

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Dwain and Lorie Hargis felt a calling to foster after their two biological children were grown. Olivia's early childhood was not easy. She was born with a cleft lip, nose and palate and has had numerous surgeries, but that was just the beginning. Her mother said she has been through things no child should ever have to face.

"After hearing her story as far as her background and what she has been through, God sent her to us for a reason," Hargis said.

Last year, it was made official.

"It was just an emotional moment because it made me had chills, because a family actually cared enough about me to adopt me and that surprised me so much I wanted to burst out in tears," Olivia said.

Olivia was part of the program Wendy's Wonderful Kids supported by the Dave Thomas Adoption Foundation.

"I submitted Olivia's story and she was picked, one out of four kids, nationwide to display her artwork on a Wendy's cup," Hargis said.

She had to pick her first family memory. For Olivia that was easy.

"My first family memory is our vacation to Panama City Beach," she said.

Wendy's turned her illustration into an animation.

"It was awesome because I had never been on vacation before and I was having a great time with my forever family, my whole forever family," Olivia said.

Her dad will never forget seeing her explore the beach for the first time. 

"One she got there and she saw the water and was just playing in it, it was like she just belonged," he said.

She now belongs to parents, who will never let her go.

"We're not letting her past even begin to touch what the future holds for her," Hargis said.

Olivia's cup can be seen at any participating Wendy's across the country from now until December.

Olivia's drawing was also turned into an animated video that she narrated (see below). Mobile users, click here to view the video.

For more information on Wendy's Wonderful Kids program, click here.

Copyright 2015 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.