November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Although this is a time to celebrate all families who have adopted, the annual awareness month is primarily focused on bringing attention to children in foster care awaiting permanent placement.
On the eve of Adoption Awareness Month, one Las Vegas District Court Family Judge has a creative way of celebrating the parents and children united through adoption. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that each year for Halloween, Judge Cynthia Giuliani dresses as a fairy godmother to “make adoption dreams come true.”
2018 is the sixth year Giuliani has held the event, and she told the Review-Journal, “We do this for the children. When there’s not a want, we don’t do it anymore, but at this point we have 21 children that were adopted today.” She added, “We have sibling groups; we have individual children getting adopted.” Children at the event wore superhero costumes, Halloween face paint, and huge smiles.
In a video posted by the Review-Journal, Giuliani explained, “These kids deserve permanency, and at this point today they get that. This is the end of a long road for a lot of children who are part of the abuse and neglect system.” The abortion industry continues to spread the lie that the worth of children depends on their “wantedness,” however, adoptions, like those celebrated in Giuliani’s courtroom, affirm that every child has inherent dignity and worth and deserves a loving family.
The day includes not only the children and their parents but many grandparents and extended family. Giuliani said, “This is just a great day for everybody. There was a lot of happy tears today. A lot of people here crying tears of joy that the kids are permanently theirs, that the kids have a real home, a safe home, and they’re no longer in the foster care system.”
Although the goal of the foster care system is to reunite biological parents with their children, when that is not possible, children need a permanent placement as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, as children approach the teen years, many families are reluctant to adopt them, leaving vulnerable young people without a permanent family to support them as they transition into adulthood.
Courageous families like Sara Cozad’s are sharing online about the importance of fostering and adopting older children. Cozad and her husband are only in their 20s, but they recently adopted a teen boy and his younger brother. Cozad wrote on the Archibald Project, “There’s only a 13 year age difference between me and my oldest son. He doesn’t notice (or maybe he just doesn’t care.) I’m his mom.” She continued, “New foster parents tend to be nervous about taking in older kids, I wish I could tell them all that they don’t have to be.”
Cozad summed up her experience as a foster mom to many and an adoptive mom to two, writing,
People constantly say “They’re so lucky to have you!” which is laughable because we feel so truly, and deeply blessed to have met every kid who has come through our door. Fostering is hard, but it is also the most incredible thing I’ve ever done. I wake up every day knowing that I’m doing something incredibly worthwhile. These kids are awesome and it’s a privilege to get to spend my days with them.
Cozad and her husband and sons live in Washington, but the families in Judge Giuliani’s Las Vegas courtroom are no different: they are made up of loving parents who decided to try their best to give children a loving home. Making forever families official really is a “dream come true” for everyone involved.
The memorable annual Halloween event is not the only special event for adoptive families in this Las Vegas court. There are several upcoming events for National Adoption Awareness Month, including an “adoption day marathon” on November 15 at which seven family court judges will make more loving families forever families.