Sacramento Superior Court and Sacramento County
collaborated to host a National Adoption Day event at the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse. By the end of this special day, 54 children from foster care finalized their adoptions into 42 families – each finding their forever home.
“This has been a joyous event for every child and family. However, right now, roughly 350 foster children still need forever homes,” said, Michelle Callejas, director of the Sacramento County Department of Child, Family and Adult Services. “This day is a great reminder to community members that they can become a resource or adoptive parent and open their homes and hearts to foster youth in need.”
On the day of the event, the courthouse, normally serious, instead buzzed with excitement and jubilation of children excited to embrace their new families. Suzzanne Goldwire, a Resource Parent many times, who after fostering Jessi and Tianna for 10 months, celebrated at the Adoption Day event with hugs and poignant tears as she took the final step to welcome Jessi and Tianna into their forever family with the rest of her family and grandchildren present in support.
"Today is the day I adopted Tianna and Jessi. I've been fostering them for 10 months... and now we just made it official and they fit right in with my nine grandkids. It's important that the kids know that they can be loved even though they are not your biological child," said Suzzanne. When asked about the upcoming holidays, Suzzanne said, "I'm excited about expanding the family and having everybody get together... this Thanksgiving will be extra special because I've added two kids to our family - and now they are official with us - I'm thankful for that.”
At the event when asked about the process to foster/adopt, Suzzanne shared that the process was easy and the agency will walk people through the process. Data shows that outcomes for foster youth improve greatly with the permanency of a family. Resource parents and their families make a vital and positive difference in the lives of foster children by providing love, parental care, guidance and stability to children until they can either return to their parents or provide a permanent home through adoption or legal guardianship. Anyone able to provide a loving and affirming home can become a resource parent – and there is a tremendous need for resource families for teens, LGBTQ youth, African-American children, sibling sets, children with medical needs, and emergency, short-term placements and homes.
While reuniting children with their biological families is the primary goal, when reunification is not possible, Sacramento County staff can help resource parents to adopt or to provide legal guardianship. Sacramento County supports, trains and offers guidance, resources and assistance to resource families to make sure the journey is a positive transition.