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Making 'Mom' and 'Dad' Official in a Public Adoption Ceremony

Updated: Tuesday, December 10 2013, 01:51 PM EST
HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio (Jeff Hirsh) -- Twelve children feel a lot more secure Friday night; they were adopted by six local families.

Normally, adoption ceremonies are private but Friday, for national adoption month, the ceremony was open.  Local 12 News reporter Jeff Hirsh was there and tells the touching story.

How do you pick a story to tell when each story is so wonderful? 

Tough choice, but here's one of them; four siblings, in foster care for a long time, adopted by their foster parents. 

This was a momentous day for 8-year-old Lawrence, his 5-year-old twin sisters Laila and Loriana, and 12-year-old big sister Leasia.  After four years in foster care with Robin and Greg Smith of New Richmond, the Smith's were adopting them.

All of them.

Greg Smith said, I couldn't see a family being split up.  I'd rather see the siblings stay together.  They did want to split them up and I just couldn't see it.

The Smiths were among six families adopting twelve children Friday.  Many of the kids in Judge Jim Cissell's courtroom come from original families were they were abused or neglected. 

Getting them to a position where they can open their hearts again is something we have to work with.  And the families, you'll often hear them say once this child came to our home we fell in love with this child and we couldn't imagine the child being anywhere else.

The Smiths already had two foster children when they took in four more.  At first, Robin and Greg figured it would be temporary.  But when the birth mom couldn't take the children back the Smiths said, We're in.

They were a handful, we had some ups and downs with them but they have been a blessing. They taught us more about love than I taught them.

Jeff Hirsh asked, Did it take you awhile to call them mom and dad or did you just fall into it?

It took me about a month, because when we first got there my little sisters were afraid of them and I didn't know why.  They were always clamped to my sides so I felt if I started calling them mom and dad maybe it will take the pressure off of them, and they started calling them mom and dad. And we've been calling them mom and dad for about four years now.

76 percent of adoptions in Hamilton County involve foster parents adopting the children they've been caring for. 

Fridays ceremony reflected that as all but one of the adoptive parents were foster parents before then.

Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services currently has 190 children available for adoption.  70 children have been adopted this year.

VIDEO hereMaking 'Mom' and 'Dad' Official in a Public Adoption Ceremony


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