Austin Adoption Day is one of the happiest days of the year for child advocates and newly formed families in Travis County. At the 15th annual event, many relished in the success stories and hoped more children would get a fairy tale ending and a permanent home.
In one case, four little girls and their baby brother had the opportunity to start a new life with a new last name, and mommy.
"So kiddos, are you glad that today has come?" the judge asked each child at Gardner Betts Juvenile Center. As they shook their head "yes" and smiled, it was almost as if they realized they were a part of something special.
Melisha Sorrells has already raised 4 children but said she was determined to adopt her nieces and nephew because they needed her. She couldn't help but smile as her new children piled onto her lap.
"I love kids," Sorrells said. "I knew I could give them a good place to stay and a happy home and love them and care for them."
Her 7-year-old shyly whispered, "She loves us."
Dozens of other children and new parents also celebrated while they were surrounded by balloons, stuffed animals and plenty of love. On Thursday, 53 kids became part of a forever family. But across Texas, more than 6,388 hundred kids are still asking, "Why can't I have a family?" That includes 215 children in Travis County.
There's a critical need for adoptive parents for foster children of all ages in Texas. And the state is hoping more people will open their hearts, change their lives and give a child a place to call home and a family to call their own.
"Anybody watching this right now can step up to the plate and make magic for some of these kids," said 126th District Court Judge Darlene Byrne.
The children adopted today also received a necklace or ID bracelet engraved with his or her new name and the date they became part of a forever family.