28 kids find forever homes at special Bastrop County Adoption Day

Amanda Porter said she had always wanted kids before she discovered later in life that she couldn’t have her own. Hoping to avoid costly fertility treatments, she decided six years ago to adopt, bringing home two daughters, Daveena and Alma, now 13 and 10.

She and her husband David delighted in their new family so much so that this year they decided to take in two more girls.

On Nov. 28, at a special adoption event hosted in Bastrop County, the couple welcomed Moriah, 7, and Sierra, 6, to their now-family of six. “The first time we saw them we just fell in love with them,” Amanda Porter said outside the courthouse. “The rest is history.”

For the two girls, it was the end of a long and arduous journey.

“We are their first experience seeing a real family,” Amanda Porter said. “They have been through a lot.”

A total of 28 kids found forever homes with 17 different families Tuesday at the event at the Bastrop County Courthouse, which celebrated November as National Adoption Awareness Month.

One by one, families filed into County Court at Law Judge Benton Eskew’s courtroom for adoption proceedings. The room was decorated with colored balloons, banners and stuffed animals. Staff handed gift baskets to each family. For many, it was the culmination of many months and years of paperwork, home visits and court hearings.

“It’s a happy day,” Eskew said. “However, the seeds of this day were formed in a lot of pain.”

Juana Mabry on Tuesday adopted her nephew Elijah Allen Mabry, 1, from her sister, who she said struggles with addiction.

“She needed our help,” Mabry said. “He’s been a very good addition to our family. My kids love him. We love him. It’s like he’s my own.”

There are currently 3,900 children in Texas waiting to be adopted, according to the Texas Department of Protective and Family Services. National Adoption Month is meant to highlight the need for adoptive families for these children.

During the month of November, cities and counties across Texas hold mass adoption ceremonies and fairs, similar to the one in Bastrop County. “Ceremonies like this one highlight not only the children who have finally found their home, but also the amazing families who have opened their arms and hearts to adoption,” the department said in a statement.

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