National Adoption Day celebrated
NORRISTOWN » Honoring Montgomery County families who have opened their “hearts and homes” to children, county officials celebrated National Adoption Day.
The highlight of the celebration on Nov. 1 came when county judges Lois E. Murphy and Cheryl L. Austin approved and finalized the adoption of eight children in six families.
“These children and their families have been on a journey, a journey that has involved foster care and the juvenile division of this court, a journey that has involved a lot of players…,” said Murphy, administrative judge of the Orphans’ Court. “We’re here to honor you and to celebrate this happy and joyous conclusion.”
“Today is the end of one chapter… Go forth and make that next chapter one of the best,” Austin addressed the parents and those supporting them.
The county commissioners presented a proclamation earmarking November as National Adoption Awareness Month in the county.
“Today is a celebration honoring all the families who have opened their hearts and homes to these eight children being adopted. In Montgomery County, we recognize the importance of providing children in foster care with permanent, safe and loving families through the commitment that is adoption,” said county Commissioner Valerie A. Arkoosh.
As some of the children in the packed courtroom squealed with delight during the ceremony, Arkoosh joked, “some are certainly more excited than others,” eliciting laughter from spectators.
“You can feel the happiness and warmth in this room. It may be a little cold and overcast outside on Nov. 1 but you can feel a lot of love in this room,” Commissioner Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr. addressed the 175 people who packed the courtroom for the celebration.
According to the commissioners, in 2016, Austin and Murphy finalized 48 adoptions.
“The family unit plays a most critical role in a successful society,” added Commissioner Joseph C. Gale. “Days like this are times to celebrate.”
Laurie O’Connor, director of the county’s Office of Children and Youth, thanked the foster and adoptive families in the county for all they do to help children.
“It’s a uniquely defining moment. It’s like a happily ever after for those families who are here today. The importance of having a permanent family really cannot be underestimated,” O’Connor said.
One adoptive father told the crowd “the journey doesn’t end here,” and urged people to be ambassadors for foster parenting by promoting it.
“There are so many other children and teenagers out there who can benefit from a house like yours,” the father said.
The Montgomery County Court House Choir sang “Day of Joy and Celebration” to close out the ceremony.
Arkoosh said a need still exists for families who want to make the commitment of adoption and the commissioners urged everyone to “spread the word.”
“This is an effort that truly takes a village,” Arkoosh said.