Adoption Day celebrates new families, while highlighting need for more foster homes
KALAMAZOO, Mich. —
Adoption Day was held on Wednesday and there are almost two dozen kids in Kalamazoo County with new forever homes.
The state said there is a shortage of good foster homes and finding one isn't always easy. Nicole and Joe McAllister are no longer just foster parents, they're mom and dad to 3-year-old Rohen, and 2-year-old Magnolia.
Nicole said, "We're just so happy that we can finally be our little family."
The Kalamazoo County family courtrooms met with foster families the state and private agencies point to as the model foster home. Some of those parents have now gone one step further, like the McAllister family. Even after adopting Maggy and Rohen, they are still fostering other kids. They have fostered 21 children in five years.
A little family playing a big role in the lives of dozens of children.
Stephanie Thomkins said, “I feel like Magnolia is in the best hands possible."
Thomkins is the McAllister's adoption specialist with family and children services. She spoke at court before the adoption was made official and said people like Joe and Nicole are getting harder to find.
Thomkins said, “There are so many times where we're not able to find a foster home for the kids."
Statewide there are almost 14,000 kids in the foster care system and nearly 300 need permanent new homes through adoption.
The state said the short supply of foster homes is hurting the children.
Shay Mavis, with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said seeing these ceremonies brings so much joy, especially considering what these kids have endured.
Mavis said, "When we do a termination of parental rights it's a sad time. It's a loss, it's a loss for everybody."
Joe and Nicole said they decided to be foster parents after watching a story on Newschannel 3 and they're hoping you at home will be compelled to do the same.
The state said they need as many foster homes as they can get.