Foundation Sponsors National Adoption Day
When he was featured on a Freddie Mac Foundation's Wednesday's Child television segment in Los Angeles, 10-year old Brooklyn shared his love of "cars, new activities, and experiencing new things." He also shared his hope for a "forever" family.
It took just 15 minutes inside a Los Angeles courtroom to change Brooklyn's life forever, when the court finalized his adoption. His new parents first saw their son on Wednesday's Child, and today, after nearly four years in foster care, Brooklyn finally has a permanent family to call his own, thanks, in part, to the Freddie Mac Foundation.
Brooklyn is one of more than 4,500 foster children throughout the country whose adoptions were finalized on National Adoption Day. The event shines light on the adoption process by honoring those who adopt. It also raises awareness of the more than 500,000 children in foster care, and the 129,000 waiting to be adopted. The Foundation is a founding sponsor of National Adoption Day, and this year marked the event's 10th anniversary.
Nia Vardalos, best known for her Academy Award-nominated role in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," was this year's national spokesperson, and she participated in the Los Angeles ceremony. She and her husband adopted their daughter from foster care two years ago.
"It's wonderful to see all the new families," said Ralph Boyd, EVP of Community Relations, president and CEO of the Foundation, himself an adoptive parent of two children from foster care. "These children no longer have to wait and hope — they have a family of their own to love and care for them."
It was also a big day for two-year-old Preston and his new parents, SharRon and Gregory Banks. "You don't have to say that word 'foster' child or 'secondary' – he's yours," said SharRon. "He may not have my blood, but he has my heart, my spirit."
In the past decade, more than 25,000 children have been adopted during National Adoption Day ceremonies, and the scope of the event has grown from 17 communities in 2001 to more than 350 this year in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
A Day to Celebrate Families
Adoption finalization hearings for 245 foster children, including Brooklyn, followed the press conference in Los Angeles to kick off National Adoption Day.
Brooklyn was one of two children featured on Wednesday's Child segments whose adoptions were finalized. Five other children previously adopted through Wednesday's Child served as courtroom volunteers.
In other National Adoption Day celebrations around the country:
- In Washington, Margaret Meiers, senior director of Community Relations, Freddie Mac, was part of ceremonies emceed by Wednesday's Child host and NBC reporter Barbara Harrison, in which 30 adoptions were finalized.
- In Atlanta, actress and former foster child Victoria Rowell shared her experiences while judges finalized 30 adoption hearings. Rowell spent 18 years in foster care and her book, "The Women Who Raised Me," is a New York Times Bestseller.
- In Louisiana, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., lent her support to the state's National Adoption Day event.
Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., also took part in two news programs about National Adoption Day and foster care adoption along with our Wednesday's Child partners: "At Issue" on NBC10 in Philadelphia and "Viewpoint" on NBC4 in D.C. Ralph joined the discussion on National Adoption Month on WCAU-TV in Philadelphia. Watch it here.