Local families created through adoption celebrated in honor of National Adoption Month

Gianni Alphonso, 7, likes sports, math and computer games but above all else, the youngster says it’s his love for his parents.

“They are great parents,” said Gianni. “They are really nice. My mom really likes smiling to everybody and my dad, too.”

Donald and Vanessa, Gianni’s parents, adopted Gianni at birth. And no surprise — they think he’s pretty special, too.

“Just an amazing child. The best spirit. The kindest heart,” said Donald Alphonso.

“We just couldn’t ask for a sweeter child,” said Vanessa Alphonso.

In honor of National Adoption Month, this kind of love was celebrated Saturday at City Park. Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana, a licensed adoption agency for more than 75 years, hosted a carousel party for families created through adoption.

“Today is a celebration of them and the birth mothers of their children who chose adoption,” said Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana marketing director Lori Arceneaux. “It’s pretty amazing to see some of these families and the joy adoption has brought into their lives.”

With help from agencies like Volunteers of America, the Department of Children and Family Services has recorded more adoptions from foster care than ever before.

“The more people that are aware of it (adoption) the more people may consider adoption as a choice when they are not, perhaps, in a position to raise their child,” said Arceneaux.

Volunteers of America also believe adopted children should know their adoption story.

“Me, not being adopted, I know where I get this trait or that characteristic from and children who are adopted want that same frame of reference,” Arceneaux said.

A feeling echoed by Donald and Vanessa.

“You ask any birth-parent what is so special about having a child and it’s the same thing,” said Donald Alphonso. “You go through the same emotions, the same attachments and it’s just like anyone else.”

If you’d like more info on adoption you can visit Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana by clicking here.

Paul Dudley can be reached at pdudley@wwltv.com.

© 2018 WWL

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