MIAMI (WSVN) - Friday marked National Adoption Day, and some foster parents thought it would be the perfect time to officially welcome the children they’ve been caring for into their families.
The adoption of 40 infants, children and teens were finalized at Miami Children’s Museum as part of the celebration.
“This is the happiest day in juvenile court, the happiest day in our child welfare system,” said Juvenile Judge Cindy Lederman. “Every year where we celebrate children, we celebrate the wonderful families who come forward to adopt these children.”
The museum turned several exhibits into courtrooms for the children to make the day that much more memorable.
For dozens of families, the occasion marked the culmination of their hard work to help the children get to a better place.
The adoptions were just as rewarding for the workers and judges who helped make them happen. “We watched these children come in abused, neglected and abandoned, and now we watch them leave in a safe, loving, nurturing home,” said Lederman.
One of those loving homes belongs to Doreles Hernandez. Little Chloe is her new daughter, and the fifth child she has adopted.
Hernandez said the feeling of helping those in need has kept her going.
“I always try to talk to people and tell them that, yes, there is a roller coaster, and there is always a fear, but it’s so rewarding in the end,” said Hernandez. “The day the adoption comes, it was all worth it.”
National Adoption Day has also served to raise awareness of the children living in foster care. Over 3,000 children in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties alone are in foster care.
Hernandez hopes the number will continue to drop even after National Adoption Day has finished.
“I encourage everyone to adopt. It’s a blessing, and you love them just the same,” she said, “and you’re changing someone’s life, giving them a forever family.”
National Adoption Day is celebrated across the country and is in its 18th year. Since it began, it has made the dreams of 65,000 children living in foster care come true.
Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.