DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Friday was a life-changing day for more than a dozen Miami Valley children.
For National Adoption Day, Montgomery County took part in a nationwide effort to raise awareness for children in the foster care system.
The courthouse embraced the theme “Ohana,” inspired by the Disney movie “Lilo and Stitch” and decorated the second floor with colorful flowers, palm trees and tropical treats. The Hawaiian term “Ohana” means family and symbolizes being bound together, despite any differences.
“It means no one gets left behind,” said Montgomery County probate judge Alice McCollum.
Judge McCollum wore a Hawaiian lei while she presided over 17 adoptions Friday.
David and Janis Gorby were among the parents adopting children. The couple has been fostering for seven years and say they fell in love with three sisters assigned to their charge.
“We saw three girls at children’s services and took them home. Now here we are adopting them,” said David Gorby.
Sierra, 13, Brianna, 12, and Ashley, 11, spent more than two years with the Gorby family and all agreed they wanted to make the arrangement permanent.
Montgomery County Job and Family Services says more than 650 children are in the county’s foster care system at any given time, and that figure is rising with the drug epidemic.
Judge McCollum says each adoption can change the course of a child’s life and make a difference in the community as a whole.
“This is important for the children,” she said. “It’s important for our state and our county to have children who want to achieve now because they feel loved and cared for.”
Anyone 21 or older who is interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent can call the county at 224-KIDS (5437).
You can also find more information here.