National Adoption Day Ceremony Held in Starke Circuit Court

Friday was National Adoption Day, offering a time for courts across the country to raise awareness of children in foster care who are ready and waiting to be adopted. Rhonda Adcock, director of the Starke County CASA program, told the audience assembled in the courtroom of the importance of adoption and the effect it can have on a child eagerly awaiting their “forever” family.

Judge Kim Hall began the National Adoption Day ceremony with opening remarks, stating that the most common reason Starke County children are removed from their homes is drug abuse in the home. Hall said the most common drug in this situation is methamphetamine, and while many of them are caught, the majority of methamphetamine abusers are still free. Some of them, he said, have children in the home, exposing them to that terrible drug.

Adcock explained that by the time a foster child is ready for their final adoption hearing, they have been through the heartbreak of losing their parents. Every foster child has a one in three chance of not being adopted before they age out of the system, and she urged everyone who has considered adoption to find out what they can do personally to help these children find a forever family.

Ivraline Applewhite, a Special Needs Adoption Program specialist, spoke about the overwhelming need for adoptive families for special needs children, and a poem by Carol Grubbs was read to the audience.

Finally, Liz Arredondo and her adopted daughters, Cheyenne and Breanna, spoke about their experience with the adoption process. Arredondo said she had been told the adoption process would be complete within a few short months, but the process ultimately took years. She said the happiness in her household when they finally received their adoption date was contagious and she said while the journey wasn’t the easiest, “every day has been worth it.”