Smiles, hugs and happy tears as 50 children are adopted in Tarrant County – CBS Dallas/Fort Worth

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – More than 50 children joined new families on Friday, Nov. 19 at Tarrant County’s 20th National Adoption Day celebration.

While a courthouse isn’t often a place full of smiles, that was all you saw on faces that filled two floors of the Tarrant County Family Law Center, and the tears were happy tears.

Organized the weekend before Thanksgiving, the day aims to raise awareness of the need for child advocates, foster parents, and adoptive families.

Over the past 20 years, more than 1,200 children have been adopted at the event.

Jennifer Jones had waited two years for a judge to approve the adoption of her 8-year-old son Chandler. He was one of her first foster cases after she became a volunteer.

“It just fits,” she said after the adoption was granted to applause on Friday. “He gets everyone, he understands the family. He feels like he belongs with us.”

Shaula and Paul Shaffer had planned to add one child to their family.

But as a dyslexia specialist at Norwood Elementary School in Burleson, she met Ashley and Jonathan, who were in foster care.

“And I came home and I said, ‘Well, there’s a small group of kids I know,’ Shaula told her husband.

“And I said, how much?” Paul responded.

Jonathan said Friday the best part of having a teacher for a mom is seeing her every day while he’s at school.

As North Texas grows, the need for volunteers grows, said Natalie Stalmach of CASA of Tarrant County.

There is a particular need for men to volunteer as advocates, as well as people of color.

No special skills are required and regular training is provided. Interested volunteers can click here For more information.

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