A new chapter begins in the lives of many children who were adopted during a program held in Monmouth County’s Court House in celebration of National Adoption Day.

Gathered in the Jury Level of the court house; extended families, friends, and of course parents and children came for a ceremony celebrating the importance of adoption, as well as having the adoption process finalized for twenty one children.

Parents from all walks of life came to experience a day many of them have been anxiously waiting for years.

Adoptions were being finalized for children from as far away as China and Thailand, many of which were long and arduous processes. Some, like Steve, remembers the seven year wait he had to go through adopting seventeen month old Benjamin from China.

He recounts that even though the process was long, with lots of paper work and runaround he says, “it’s definitely worth it.”

While there were several adoptions from other countries, a majority of those in attendance were families who were foster parents choosing to adopt. Fourteen of those adoptions were arranged through the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). Though the wait time for the parents was significantly shorter, many still went through their share of heart ache and frustration in order to reach the ultimate goal of adoption.

DYFS received praise from many of the parents who chose to adopt through the foster system. Some like Tim and Jean, a middle aged professional couple adopting nine and ten year old Lauren and Timmy, said many of the negative perceptions once associated with the organization were never witnessed by them.

“They have been so wonderful and so professional,” notes Jean “Everything that you heard and read years ago, none of that was true in our case.”

Sandra Chapel, who’s adopting her twelve year old son whom she fostered for three and a half years, also gave praise to the organization. She says now she is “looking forward to the next ten years at where he’ll be, and looking back at all of this. Just thanking the state for being helpful through the process of everything.”

“There was a lot of paperwork, lot of red tape, but he’s been a blessing so we’re just glad to be here.”

Rosemarie Peters, Monmouth County Surrogate, her office serves as clerk to adoptions, meaning all of the adoption applications went through her and her staff. Her office was there assisting the families, directing them to the proper judge. Peters notes one of the most important things about having all of the adoptive families together is that it helps build a network for the parents.

“So what this does is bring together a lot of parents who are adopting children and who share that with each other.”

She has been at the County’s Adoption Day for many years now and says the positivity is one of the best things about it.

“You hear wonderful stories of children of whose lives just seem to be lost and they’re saved by this new relationship.”

Judge Lawson and family division children-in-court Judge John R. Tassini offered remarks at the program emphasizing the importance of adoption and their wish for joy and happiness to the parents.

Before all of the parents and children were taken to see individual judges for the official legal processes the speeches were concluded by words from Beverly Daniel, an adoptive mother of her three nephews as well as of her friend’s five foster children. Her words to the audience were to remember the effect love has for a child.

She reminded parents that children depend on them, and though they might not be the biological parent, the love, nurturing, and protection they provide makes them infinitely important in the child’s life.

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