Indiana celebrates National Adoption Day with open courthouse

November 16 is a day in history for the Starke County courthouse.

"Never before have cameras been allowed to be part of official court proceedings. Our court house is nearly 115 years old," said Judge Kim Hall.

Friday is National Adoption Day, and four young boys and their families shared their special day with the world.

"For them it means they're going to have a forever family. When they grow up that means they're children are going to have grandparents. It means they are going to have the stability of home where they are protected, where they are put first and made a priority. And the home they are in today is the home they'll be in for the rest of their lives," said Rhonda Adcock, the director of the Starke County CASA Program.

One family was particularly excited for the day's events, as they've been waiting four years to make Friday official.

"We're very excited. Very excited," said one of the adoptive parents at the ceremony, Richard Earnest. "It's a long process, and to some people i would think financially straining. But in the end, it's worth it. We can, my wife and I, can lay down at night and know that our grandson is safe. We don't have to worry about whether he has food on the table or clothes on his back or a safe place to stay. It's worth it. There's no limit to what we would spend to see this done."

But while many dreams came true Friday, the fact remains, hundreds of kids are still waiting for permanent homes.

"Research shows there are families who are willing to adopt. So national adoption day is all about bringing those families together with the children who need adopted," said Adcock.

And Earnest agrees, the events of National Adoption today help alert people of the growing need.

"It brings awareness to how many children are out there that don't have the kind of nurturing and upbringing that we had as children, and it just breaks my heart to see. And these are the ones that are being adopted, think of the thousands and hundreds of thousands that are out there that basically have no hope. So this is very important to me, it's emotional."

Judge Kim Hall says he's proud to be a part of the adoption process.

"In this court room there have been thousands of cases heard. Many times they deal with heartbreak and there's nothing that a judge would prefer to do more than an adoption. It's one of the few times that we ever get to see people in a court room who are generally happy to be here and enjoy the outcome."

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