PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Two young boys were on the way to what most likely would have been an awful life, but now thanks to one Pittsburgh Police detective, they have a new home.
Detective Jack Mook, joined the “KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway to talk about adopting 11-year-old Jesse and 15-year-old Josh, how they changed his life, and the difficulties he had along the way.
Mook met the boys at his gym, Steel City Boxing, seven years ago.
“We’re non-profit and our mission is to get kids like [them] off the street, teach them respect, accountability, [and just how to] have a better life,” he said.
Jesse and Josh were living with their mother and father in what Det. Mook describes as a, “dilapidated home [with] roaches, rats.”
Mook adds that the house was so bad it was condemned after the boys were removed from their parents.
In the winter of 2012, Mook noticed that Jesse and Josh were no longer showing up to boxing. After a search, he found Josh at his school.
“I got him in the car and he didn’t look good. He just started crying in the car. The kid never cried,” he said.
Mook said the boys told him about the horrible conditions they were living in and that they wanted to get out. He said they didn’t have a bed for six years and slept on a couch or floor.
Det. Mook then became their foster parent as an emergency case. Last week, the adoption was finalized and Jesse and Josh are now Mooks.
Health insurance was an issue for Det. Mook when he was still their foster parent. He said he tried to take the boys to an emergency room on two separate occasions. However, he was told he needed adoption papers and that care was turned down.
He had to jump through hoops, but now has health insurance for both boys. He said he does hear from others that have had difficulty with getting insurance for their adopted children as well.
Many people tell Mook he has made a difference in the boy’s lives, but he said, “They’re making me better.”