DALLAS, Texas – There was cheerful chatter on the fourth floor of the Family Law Center in Fort Worth, Texas Friday Nov. 16 as children anxiously fidgeted and twirled in their Sunday best.
More than 50 families gathered at the courthouse for National Adoption Day, a day when children in foster care are united with their forever families thanks to the work of policymakers, practitioners, advocates and agencies in all 50 U.S. states. Seventy-three children were adopted in Fort Worth alone – more than 4,500 children were expected to be adopted nationwide.
Buckner foster parents Kristy and Don Lacy waited patiently in the corner of the room with their two children – Don Jr., 2, and Amari, 17 months – and the rest of their extended family. After fostering Amari, they would formalize what has been true in their hearts for months – Amari would be their daughter forever.
“We always knew we wanted to be foster parents; adoption was never really a part of our initial plan,” Kristi said. “Everything changed the first day we first laid eyes on Amari. We knew she would be a part of our family. National Adoption Day solidifies this entire process for our family. She is ours, officially. She is a Lacy.”
Last year, 6,342 children were left waiting for a forever family in Texas, according to the 2011 TDFPS Data Book. These are children who are legally available for adoption and not yet in a permanent placement. Buckner Children and Family Services helps to recruit and train qualified, loving families to provide homes for children who have been abused or neglected.
Buckner Case Manager Whitney Floyd said the process is “arduous, but it has to be that way to protect the children. The child is always our first priority, and we will do everything we can to make sure they are placed into the best possible family.”
November is National Adoption Month. Each year, more than 107,000 children are available for adoption in the United States. Buckner provides foster care and adoption services in Amarillo, Beaumont, Dallas/Fort Worth, Longview, Lubbock, Lufkin and Midland. To learn more about the ways you can be a family to a child in foster care, visit www.beafamily.org.
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