An important took place Nov. 23 that affected five families and seven children. That’s when Johnson County took part in National Adoption Day.

Adoption hearings were performed at the courthouse by local judges, providing resolution to family-building efforts that had been years in the making.

The adoption hearings legally created new families. But most importantly, they added an exclamation point to the fact that the seven children are legally in the arms of parents who love them and will care for them as a family.

Adoptive adults included grandparents, those that had served as parents through foster care and stepparents.

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The official actions were marked with balloons, cake and special photographs. But while the event was designed to be a party recognizing a fresh start for the children involved, it also helped raise awareness of the need for more adoptive parents and the kids still waiting for a safe home of their own.

“Adoption is lifesaving for these children,” said Tammi Hickman, director of the Johnson County Court Appointed Special Advocates program. “To have to take a child out of their biological home because of abuse and neglect, what these families do is absolutely critical to give the stability and security and everything we take for granted. …

“To be a successful adult, you have to have a foundation. Without family, that foundation is severely cracked. In giving these children an adoption and family to call their own, it’s the only way to start that foundation for those kids who didn’t have it to begin with.”

Love, comfort and care contribute to an immeasurable gift for children — not only to those who were adopted here, but for the millions of children around the world.

The local hearings were part of a statewide effort to encourage Indiana families to provide a permanent home for children. The hearings and reception afterward provide a perfect way to raise awareness of adoption, and potentially open doors for more.

Based on this inaugural experience, we expect Bartholomew County will participate in National Adoption Day in future years. To the parents involved, congratulations for stepping up and making a permanent commitment to these precious young individuals.

At issue

Children benefit greatly from a stable home life.

Our point

Adoption Day ceremonies celebrate the special commitment and bond between youngsters and their adoptive parents.