Give thanks for children

Published 10:47am Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving is a time for family, so it’s appropriate that Shelby County celebrates to creation of new families in November in conjunction with National Adoption Month.

Shelby County Department of Human Resources employees, foster families, adoptive parents and other supporters of adoption gathered to celebrate kids getting permanent homes through adoption during a Nov. 21 celebration at the Columbiana Public Library. The following day, Shelby County Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister finalized adoptions in his courtroom all day long.

“Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday … and for me, that’s what adoption is. Adoption is a time of Thanksgiving,” he said the Nov. 21 celebration.

Fuhrmeister finalized more than a dozen adoptions on Nov. 22. One of those adoptions began as a foster care placement. Nicole Ledbetter, a 16-year-old Thompson High student, first went to live with her new mom, Lisa Ledbetter, two years ago.

“When we found out that she was going to be available for adoption, it was just sort of natural that we would adopt her because she was just a part of our family,” Lisa said. “We didn’t set out to adopt a teenager, but we just fell in love with her, and it was just natural that she would stay.”

We’re glad these children and teens found their forever homes in time for Thanksgiving this year. We’d like to thank the employees of Shelby County DHR, who work tirelessly to make sure the kids in their care get a happy ending, whether that’s being reunited with their birth parents or finding a loving, supportive environment through foster care or adoption.

With 110 children in foster care in the county, there are plenty of opportunities for other families to make a difference in a child’s life. People interested in fostering children should call Shelby County DHR at 669-3000.

This Thanksgiving, we hope you’ll give thanks for the children in your life – whether they are your sons, daughters, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or friends – and remember that your love and support shapes their future.

The editorial is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.

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