BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WTHR) – Court is not usually where one would go to find happiness but it was there in abundance Monday.
“Adoption day! It’s here finally,” exclaimed Nancy Barker.
It’s fitting, after all. November is National Adoption Month, but you can’t really blame Nancy and Joel. They have waited two years to adopt Lylah.
“Ready for adoption of Lylah Ruth Utley,” Judge Stephen Galvin proclaimed from the bench of his Monroe County courtroom.
So they gathered their two biological children, their new addition and their foster child who they hope to soon adopt as well and they made their way into the courtroom.
We asked an adoption champion with the Indiana Adoption program for her description of the scene we surveyed outside the courtroom.
“I see love, family, connections, joy, happiness that comes from these kids having forever homes,” Rebecca LaHue said.
With the current scourge of opiod addiction, the number of children awaiting adoption has grown as well.
“It’s hundreds,” we were told.
Today, these kids get to celebrate a new beginning. They get to stop and smell the flowers. For those involved in the foster program it is almost beyond words.
“It means success. It means permanency. It means life for these kids that they deserve. They will be safe. They will be loved,” CASA’s Kristin Bishay said.
They will never again be alone.
“We’ve always said we are willing to deal with the possible heartache for the opportunity to love a child in need. It’s totally worth it,” Nancy said.
“Fun to see our family grow and see these girls who have been sisters for two years finally be sisters in the state’s eyes,” Joel added.
There were plenty of eyes there to see it.
“At this time, you are the proud parents of Lylah Ruth Barker, congratulations,” Judge Galvin announced to a cheering audience.
With that, family welcomed their new addition with a picture, the first of many to come.