Locals celebrate Adoption Awareness Month in Polk
November is Adoption Awareness Month, and staff from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services joined hands with local community members to celebrate in a big way.
Between dinner, gifts, and certificates, all of the Polk County foster and adoptive families present were honored for the impact they’ve made in the lives of others.
Those interested in becoming involved in a child’s life can visit itsmyturnnowga.com for a listing of the approximately 300 Georgia children currently free for adoption.
Polk County has given 20 children new homes since the beginning of 2018, but with only 24 homes, 145 Polk youth remain in DFCS custody and await a loving foster home.
More information about helping children in need is available at 1-877-210-KIDS or fostergeorgia.com.
Operating under the idea that it takes a village to raise a child, every parent was applauded as they received their award, prominent community staff was thanked, and signed cards made sure all felt appreciated.
“The goal this evening is to appreciate our foster and adoptive parents here in Polk County,” DFCS Georgia Region 3 Director Susan Ollis said. “To appreciate the dedication they show to the children who are with them, and their willingness to work with all of us as a village to help meet these childrens’ needs and to love them.”
With youth playing in the Boys and Girls Club gym, parents took the time to share their adoption stories and what the process meant for them.
One local father Martin West spoke on his journey of adopting three different youth before ending his speech in song.
“After we were married a month or two, I wanted a baby,” West said. “We tried for about two years, but we didn’t get to have a baby.”
While adoption was originally the couple’s only option for a new child, it quickly became a passion and something they would do on three separate occasions.
“We started fostering classes, and we heard about Simon,” West shared. “We went ahead and finished the classes and got Simon, and we were just gonna adopt him- that’s all we really wanted to do. DFCS called one night with a little girl for adoption and said “oh, she’s beautiful,” but I said we just want the one. Then I asked what her name was, and they said Faith. So, I said we’d take her.”
West and his wife would eventually go on to adopt Simon’s newborn brother, and they keep in contact with the birth mother. While originally unable to expand their family together, the couple enriched both their and their children’s lives via adoption.
“Our house is like a big daycare usually,” West said.
More information about adoption awareness month and means of contributing to or joining the adoption process can be found at https://adoption. com/.
The event owes special thanks to contributing and sponsoring businesses such as the Bremen Food Bank, Rockmart ChickFil-A, and the Cedartown Home Depot who helped make the event possible.
“Know that we are all grateful and show gratitude to everyone in this room,” Ollis said. “November is national adoption month. It was an opportunity for our staff to come out and really show some appreciation and spend time with you. We have a couple things planned, but I just wanted to make sure you all know how important you are- whether you’re a foster family or adopted.”
Above: Families gathered to celebrate Adoption Awareness Month in Polk County at the Boys and Girls Club of Cedartown on Nov. 20.Simon and Martin West were among those who celebration Adoption Awareness Month last week at the Boys and Girls Club in Cedartown.