On Friday afternoon, the Cullman County Department of Human Resources (DHR) marked National Adoption Awareness Month by holding a celebration at First Baptist Church in Cullman, marking a record year for adoptions in the county.
"We had a second chance finding each other", she said, adding that they made a decision to give a child in the foster care system the same chance. We have seen children steal and hide-away food because they have known all too well what it's like to go hungry. Under HB 3859, for example, an adoption agency could keep kids in a government group home rather than allowing them to be adopted by loving parents who don't pass an agency's religious test, or could refuse to allow an orphaned child to be adopted by an extended family member like a gay uncle or a transgender grandparent.
Still, Laura said she had been interested in adoption, and earlier this year, it felt like the right time for them to bring a new child into their family.
The Johnson family fostered 13-year-old Brian for five years before becoming his forever home. She says Jasper has special needs and his parents could no longer take care of him.
Parents today say the reward of seeing a child's face light up far outweighs any risk.
The former foster care child is coming full circle to make another family complete. "If you have love to give, give it". "They really love each other".
Family Equality Council
"The highest year we had before this year", she explained, "was 2013, and we had 27".
Numerous children in the foster system have a background of abandonment and neglect, and the family has to work hard to build good relationships, she said.
Many of these children have traveled from foster home to foster home searching for the place that they will one day call their forever home. "Little Kye came to our home when she was 3, going on 4, and we just knew the minute she walked in that it was ideal for us", Deborah says. For many, when the bell rings to signify the formal adoption, the moment of joy is one they will never forget. "You are the reason we are all here", she said.
"You get so invested, so involved, that it naturally comes", Christopher Youngman said. Thank you for knowing that attachment is exactly what our kids need.
"Daniel always said we can't have more kids than will fit in a minivan but there's a new minivan out that has nine seats".