During National Adoption Month in November, we make a special effort to honor those families who do choose to give the gift of a permanent family to teens, children and infants who desperately need someone in their corner.
Roughly 6,000 children are in foster care in New Jersey, according to the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency.
24 families heard the words they've been waiting so desperately to hear, making it official for 36 kids.
She says it helps the children understand that even though their birth families don't have the ability to meet their needs, it does not mean they stopped loving them.
Beyond the official count, the agency assisted with two other adoptions in MS, and DHR staffers themselves adopted six children over the previous year.
The Johnson family fostered 13-year-old Brian for five years before becoming his forever home.
Cindy Lambert is now the legal parent to her grandson Jasper.
"Growing up I saw the need. They really love each other".
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Adoption Day is his favorite day of the year as a judge, Brownlee said, and the joy and love evident in those familial unions are polar opposite to the criminal cases he typically presides over - "basically death and destruction", he said.
Many people are expected to attend, including Governor Gina Raimondo and Dr. Trista Piccola of Department of Children, Youth and Families.
Saturday marks National Adoption Day, which was founded in 2000 to raise awareness about the thousands of foster children awaiting adoption nationwide.
White first became involved in the foster system after agreeing to watch a woman's children for a few weeks.
"I know from working with foster parents", Tipton said, "they get so many rewards from loving these kids and nurturing them till they go home - if that's gonna be possible - or to live with grandma or a relative. I always treat them like my own", she said.
"Daniel always said we can't have more kids than will fit in a minivan but there's a new minivan out that has nine seats. But most of all, thank you for opening your hearts and homes to help us make certain that every child is adoptable".
For families like the Quinns, the road to adoption has been long.