Williamson County families welcomed 11 new members on Adoption Day, November 21, in the 425th District Court.
Adoptions are done all the time in Williamson County but November is National Adoption Month and many clients and families who work with Child Protective Services choose to formalize the occasion in a public celebration.
Thanks to the combined efforts of Williamson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Child Welfare Board, and Bar Association, the annual event featured donated toys and books for the adoptees, lunch and cake, as well as many superheroes to visit with and entertain the families throughout the day.
Judge Stacey Mathews (277th District) presided over the cases and ensured family members testified aloud what was written on all of their faces, mostly in tears—they were already families in their hearts and just needed the lawyers and judges to make it so, legally.
Denise “Wonder Woman” Hyde is a family law attorney and has been participating in Adoption Day for nearly 20 years. “Every adoption is wonderful but being able to do these as part of Adoption Day is incredible. Every family is unique and wonderful and all of these families are opening their hearts and homes and making a commitment to these children to be their Forever family. It’s magic.”
Hyde says Adoption Month brings awareness to the nearly 4000 children in Texas, and here at home who are waiting for their forever homes. “Getting this message out is so important so we are honoring and celebrating these families but we’re also bringing the needed visibility to these kids. These are all our kids.”
Judge Mathews is celebrating her second Adoption Day as a judge and explained all the cases in the annual event are managed by CPS. “This is perfect timing because it’s Thanksgiving and there is so much to be thankful for today. This is the best thing we do in this court. So much of what we have to do sometimes breaks up families. This is the one time we get to make families.”
City Insider reached out to adoptees who say being adopted as an older child has its challenges but is intensely rewarding.
Audrey Gregoire (17) was adopted at age 8.
It is not easy. I gave my parents hell, and still do at times. I pushed them away whenever they tried to hug or kiss me. I threatened to run away and always acted entitled and like a spoiled brat. I hated myself for not being able to connect with my parents or to open myself up to them.
The older kids are, the more likely the problems. Being separated from their families for difficult reasons hurts all of them. They test their new family to see how truly committed they are.
But, never once did they threaten to send me back or all me their problem child. So, I know for sure that my parents will stick with me no matter what and that they truly care for me. Never once did they give up on me. They saw me as someone worth fighting for, and I will never be able to repay them back for that.
Adoptive parents are true gems worth more than anything else on this planet.