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A Successful National Adoption Day

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This Saturday November 19 was officially National Adoption Day. Created 11 years ago, it is an effort to bring visibility to the hundreds of foster kids in the US who are waiting to become part of a permanent family. You can see what happened all around the country on the Day at this link: www.nationaladoptionday.org

Happily, Los Angeles celebrates a day early and I was invited to the Los Angeles County Children's Court on Friday to help facilitate an adoption. Of course, the adoption would have gone on without me. In fact, I was so nervous, I had the mom sign the papers on the wrong line and she had to do it all over again. A lawyer I am not. I was there to lend support and to get a huge dose of joy on a day that is a giant celebration.

The courthouse was raucous. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles took off from work. Brothers and sisters and cousins took off from school. Little girls wore new dresses, and sparkly shoes. Little boys wore bow ties. Balloons and teddy bears were everywhere.

The permanent placements were legally recognized by smiling judges who called everyone up to the podium and took photos with the delighted families.

Papers were signed... correctly, and people became inseparably linked together forever.

One hundred and twenty foster kids were officially accepted into their new families in Los Angeles. Across the country more than 4,000 adoptions were finalized.

Some people adopted one child. Some adopted two or more. The single mother I was assigned to was adopting her fifth child from foster care. The oldest boy, who she adopted in 2009 at the age of 16, was wrangling the younger ones. The six year old was making sure he got the best seat in the courtroom. The 11 year old got to bang the judge's gavel and say, "order in the court".

This is indisputably the happiest day of the year at a court that on other days is full of high anxiety and tears, as cases concerning abused and neglected children are heard, and judges decide whether those children will be taken from their parents for their own protection. Friday there were only tears of joy. And lots of hugs and kisses.

Today I'm introducing a family of six siblings in need of a forever family. Now, six kids are a lot. No doubt about it. But these six are remarkable. You know, when you meet someone's kids who are sweet, and smart and well behaved and all get along and take care of each other? That's these kids. They've been living together, with their foster mother and father, who have obviously given them a huge amount of love and nurturing. Unfortunately, for health reasons, these foster parents are not able to comfortably see these young children through the rest of their lives. So the search is on for the right people to take over. I know this sounds like a big undertaking, but there are subsidies available, known as adoption assistance payments, that can help out.

Please meet; Jose,13; Breanna, 12; Alenna, 8; Joselynn, 7; Dominic, 6; and Sienna, 5.

You can learn more about the children featured in these films and find more information about foster care adoption at ChildrensActionNetwork.org or