Celebrating ‘Forever Families’

The Locke family of Wilson County joined Associate Judge Melissa DeGerolami at the Adoption Day Celebration at the Jourdanton Community Center on Nov. 9.

The Carlos Gil family celebrated Adoption Day at the Jourdanton Community Center on Nov. 9. They are pictured with Associate Judge Melissa DeGerolami of the Child Protection Court of South Central Texas (third from right). Lisa Luna | Pleasanton Express

Lisa Luna

Staff Writer

The Carlos Gil family of LaSalle County was one of several taking part in the local annual Adoption Day Celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Carlos and the young men of the family wore maroon dress shirts, while the ladies donned matching floral dresses.

Associate Judge Melissa DeGerolami of the Child Protection Court of South Central Texas granted adoptions for seven new families at the Juvenile Justice Center in Jourdanton.

There were adoptions from four of the five counties that the court serves: Frio, LaSalle, Karnes and Wilson County with a total of 10 children being adopted. The ceremony was one of many nationwide, recognizing National Adoption Day and Adoption Awareness Month in November.

Judge DeGerolami praised the parents for stepping up, adopting children and offering their love and affection. She also said it was important to remember an event such as this, in light of recent tragedies that have happened within the week.

“Thank you all for being here and celebrating families,” said DeGerolami. “Thank you for being who you are and for what you’ve done.”

She recognized Judge Lynn Ellison, then read the Adoption Awareness Proclamation to the packed courtroom, just before granting the adoptions.

The proclamation recognizes the importance of giving children permanent, safe and loving families through adoption; every day and especially during Adoption Awareness Month in November. It states that more than 110,000 children in the United States foster care system are waiting to be adopted. More than 3,900 children and teenagers in Texas are legally free for adoption and waiting for permanent families.

The new families gathered afterwards at the Jourdanton Community Center for the Celebration Luncheon. Decorations for the tables and pictures were provided by Patricia Magdaleno, Helen Yount, Gloria Marines, Sandra Snow and Ysenia Moreno.

The families celebrated their joyous occasion with a delicious buffet luncheon provided by Café Chris and Lauren’s Deli, Jessica Tom, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) caseworkers from Jourdanton, Karnes City, Pearsall, Cotulla, Boerne, San Antonio, Hondo, and CASA of South Texas, which advocates for children in Atascosa, Frio, LaSalle, Karnes and Wilson Counties. Those attending also enjoyed desserts.

The adoptive parents were provided corsages and boutonnieres donated by This Mums for You, Tina Pacheco owner. Party favors for the children were provided by Sonja Sims, Attorney; Frio County Welfare Board, Wilson County Welfare Board and Karnes County Welfare Board gave each child a gift. Each child was provided with a blanket from DFPS. H-E-Buddy, DFPS Mascot Raven and Sniggles the Clown were present to visit with the children.

Pleasanton National Honor Society members further brightened the children’s special day by providing face painting for the children. The members were: Kendall Hagen, Alyssa Tijerina, Bethany Douglas, Autumn Hagen and Sydney Sykes.

Portraits from the Heart Gallery project were also displayed prominently at the luncheon, featuring children waiting for adoption and a “Forever Home.”

Judge DeGerolami and Court Coordinator Dora Gonzales also send a special thanks to Dorothy Manning, Greg Simmons, Lisa Lopez and Jr. Loza for the location and set up for the Celebration Luncheon.

For more information regarding adoption or fostering, please contact the Texas DFPS at 210-337-3117 or view the website of waiting children www.dfps.state.tx.us/Application/TARE/Home.aspx/Default.

lisa luna | pleasanton express
One of the new adoptees joins Associate Judge Melissa DeGerolami during the emotional adoption court proceeding

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