14 children adopted in National Adoption Month ceremony in Cincinnati

Updated: Nov. 1, 2019 at 3:05 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - November is National Adoption Month and every year Hamilton County Job and Family Services has a mass adoption ceremony to celebrate.

Friday morning an adoption ceremony for more than a dozen children was held at the Hamilton County Courthouse. For children in the foster care system, this can be the end of a years-long wait.

14 children, ranging in age from just under 1 to 16, were adopted into eight families during the ceremony at 9 a.m.

Usually, adoption ceremonies are private, but these families are sharing their stories with the hope of encouraging others to think about adoption.

The Engleman’s were one of eight families in court Friday.

Single mom Treka Engleman said she was nervous and appreciated Judge Ralph Winkler breaking the tension with a few jokes.

Sisters Mercedes and Alexis have been fostered by Engleman for more than a year before Friday. 2-year-old Elijah has been with Engleman since he was 6 days old.

“It’s exciting and rewarding just to know that they love me and I love them,” Engleman said.

She said things have not always been easy for them.

“We’ve had our ups and downs. This is my first time being a mom, so they’ve taught me a lot and I know I’ve taught them a lot,” she said.

Mercedes and Alexis had to sign documents saying they wanted Engleman to be their mom. They say they knew a long time before now that she was the mom for them.

“Their family has a lot of gatherings like Christmas and Halloween and stuff like that. When we got together and just talked,” Mercedes Engleman said.

A stroke of a pen gave 14 kids forever homes, but there are many more children searching for that same feeling.

”There’s a lot of kids. When we were at our first placement there were like five other kids with us. They didn’t have any homes or nothing and they were just in foster care,” Mercedes Engleman said.

The Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services says there are roughly 16,000 kids in the system in Ohio on any given day. 3,500 of those are up for adoption right now.

The department is constantly looking for families to adopt children in the system. They said it doesn’t matter if you’re single, married, or how wealthy you are, as long as you’re willing to take a child into your home and love them.

A celebration took place after Friday morning’s ceremony with their caseworkers, extended families and other people special to their lives.

If you would like to know more about adopting or fostering a child, click here.

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