Adopting love, family before turkey day

Published 7:00 pm Monday, November 21, 2011

Last Friday was National Adoption Day, and Shelby County marked the occasion by finalizing the adoptions of seven children in the Shelby County foster care system.

I had the honor of covering this event for the paper.

It started early in the day Friday.

Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister, in his office at the Shelby County Courthouse, signed the papers finalizing the adoptions for the seven children. Fuhrmeister, who himself was adopted as a child, said it was a great day.

“Our court is proud to join the hundreds of lawyers, foster care professionals, child advocates and judges working together nationwide on one special day to celebrate the adoption process,” he said.

Later in the day Friday, a reception was held at the Shelby County Department of Human Resources. The reception was for the newly adopted children and their forever families. It was incredible experience to be in that room and see the looks on the faces of the kids and their new parents.

In celebrations across the United States, more than 4,500 foster care adoptions were finalized in celebration of National Adoption Day. This collective national effort raised awareness of more than 107,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families and involves hundreds of judges, attorneys, adoption agencies, adoption professionals and child advocates volunteering their time to finalize adoptions of children from foster care and celebrating all families who adopt.

Local organizations participated in this special day by working together to celebrate the joys of adoption and encourage more families and individuals to give children permanent families through adoption with Heart Gallery, Children’s Aid Society through APAC, Adopt us Kid’s and the Shelby County Department of Human Resources.

National Adoption Day was sponsored by a coalition of national partners – The Alliance for Children’s Rights, Children’s Action Network, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Freddie Mac Foundation – to draw special attention to more than 107,000 foster children waiting for adoption in the United States and to celebrate all loving families that adopt.

These seven children adopted in Shelby County, and the six families who adopted them, certainly have plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Brad Gaskins is a staff writer for the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 14 or by email at