November 7, 2014

Austin Adoption Day Welcomes 44 Children into 37 Families

In the “Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy glides her feet into the ruby slippers, closes her eyes and repeats three times, Family Celebrates“there’s no place like home,” one imagines what it is like to have a loving home with parents and siblings to go to. For 44 children on Nov. 6, having a place to call home became a reality as 37 families celebrated the 13th annual Austin Adoption Day.

Travis County judges finalized the adoptions of the children. All are well prepared for their new lives thanks to hundreds of donations from teddy bears to new books to personalized jewelry.

“The real stars of Adoption Day are the families,” said attorney Denise Hyde, chair of the Adoption Day Committee. “They have opened their hearts and their homes to create new families.”

The children adopted at Austin Adoption Day are among thousands across Texas who are in foster care because they were victims of abuse or neglect. Adoption is the end of a long journey that can be as harrowing for the children involved as Dorothy’s trek through Oz contending with flying monkeys and the Wicked Witch of the West.

“Adoption Day is a celebration not only for the children and adoptive families, but it is a celebration for everyone in the child welfare system and community,” said Child Protective Services Foster and Adoption Program Director Stefanie White. “For these children it is a sigh of relief, to finally be a part of a family and to have a home forever. While we celebrate National Adoption Month during the month of November, we must remember there are many other children who are waiting for their special adoption day too.”

FamilyThe festival atmosphere included games, giveaways, and magic shows for children of all ages. Each child received a necklace or ID bracelet engraved with his or her new name and the date of the adoption, and each family received a print of a professional portrait taken on Adoption Day as well as a goodie basket stuffed with books, coupons, a special picture frame, and a bottle of sparking grape juice to help them celebrate.

In addition, each family will have access to a complimentary wills package, consisting of family wills, durable powers of attorney, medical power of attorney, and directives to physicians, provided by Austin attorney Fred Helmes.

Now in its 13th year, Austin Adoption Day is presented as a partnership between the Austin Bar Association, Austin Bar Foundation, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and Court Appointed Special Advocates with the assistance of Travis County Juvenile Probation, Partnerships for Children, the Travis County Office of Child Representation, and the Travis County Children’s Protective Services Board. November is National Adoption Month and Austin Adoption Day is part of the nationwide effort to celebrate adoptive families and draw attention to the continuing need for foster and adoptive homes.

Across Texas, there are more than 6,500 children waiting for adoption, including 188 in Travis County. To see some of them and learn how foster care and adoption works, please visit www.adoptchildren.org or call the Texas Adoption Information Line at 800-233-3405.

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