The magician who won America's Got Talent with a sleight of hand and stories of inspiration told Ellen Degeneres Wednesday that his wife, Kari, told him he would be victorious.
"Every round I got through, every day, she's like, 'I told you [that] you were going to win," said Dustin Tavella, who won $1 million and a Las Vegas show by winning the NBC talent show. It wasn't until the final night that he said he thought to himself, "My wife might be right."
Tavella, who is a Christian, made the comments during an appearance on The Ellen Show in which he performed a trick and wowed a stunned Degeneres. He also recounted how he and Kari adopted two boys, Xander and Sylas.
He and his wife, he said, "always have been super-passionate about wanting to help inspire people." They started a homeless ministry in Los Angeles and "were working with an organization to help women in crisis pregnancies" when they met the birth mom of their future sons.
"The whole goal of the organization is to help these girls get back on their feet – help them through their pregnancy," he said.
"... Long story short, one of the girls we got extra close with [and] we tried helping her raise her boy for about the first two months. We're all living in a house together – just me, Kari, another couple and all these pregnant women. She eventually, after those two months, asked if we would adopt Xander. So that's where we got our first boy was from her, which was amazing," Tavella said.
"... [Xander] actually had an older brother, and his situation was a little bit more complicated. But literally, I auditioned for America's Got Talent, and after my first audition, we got a phone call, and it was something we had been praying for for a long time because we wanted to see these brothers together and they asked if we would consider adopting Sylas, the older brother.
Xander and Sylas, along with Kari, made a brief appearance on stage during one of Tavella's America's Got Talent tricks.
Their birth mom "is the hero of the story," Tavella said.
"That is what I always tell people. She had the hardest decision any mom could ever make."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Amy Sussman/Staff
Video courtesy: ©The Ellen Show
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.