National Adoption Day celebrates new family ties
National Adoption Day brought tears of joy to families celebrating a life-changing event that helps children in foster care find their forever homes.
Texas Child Protective Services program Director Beverly Hutchins said the event is a way to recognize the families that are formed by adoption. District Judge Sara Kate Billingsley and Child Protection Court of West Texas Associate Judge Tracey Scown presided over adoptions and name changes today at CrossRoads Fellowship.
“Judges love adoptions because everybody wins in adoption,” Hutchins said.
Billingsley and Scown sat in an auditorium decked with decorations from the “Despicable Me” movie with close to 140 people in attendance. Khrystal Garcia, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services adoption supervisor, said her unit pushes to create an environment that reflects an uplifting adoption theme. She said the main character, Gru, adopts three girls in the children’s film.
“We took the catchphrase, ‘I’ll catch you and never let you go,’ and ran with it,” Garcia said.
More than 65,000 children have been adopted during National Adoption Day events since its inception in 2000, a National Adoption Day press release stated.
“I’ve been with this agency for 45 years and I’ve been around since the very first adoption day,” Hutchins said. “I enjoy seeing the families. It’s such a happy day for us.”
Ryan Patton-Zies and his husband were one of the families that joined the judges on stage to finalize the adoption of their 2-year-old son, Remington.
“I’m excited to show him things I’ve enjoyed growing up and I’m excited for my husband and I to grow together with him as a family,” Patton-Zies said.
His family and friends were in the audience united by a love for the child and matching shirts that said ‘we are the village.’
“Thank you to all the village members who are here,” Scown said. “Nobody does this in a vacuum and it takes all of us to raise these children.”
Lois Patton said she remembers the first time she met Remington, now her third grandchild.
“Case workers called and brought him to the house,” Patton said. “He was in a little walker. I just kind of sat there on the floor and he came rushing toward me. I was just so excited.”
Patton said she had an instant connection with the child because he shared the same birthday as her mother who died when she was 15 years old.
She said she comes from a large family that has always unofficially adopted others as one of their own. Patton stood with about a dozen other friends and family beaming with a smile as she watched her grandchild open gifts. The child was surrounded by the Patton-Zies “village.”
“Today just marks making it official and final,” Patton-Zies said. “He’s fit right in, he lets us sleep and he’s now ours.”