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OPINION

GOOD MORNING: Why I love to cover adoptions

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Jerrie Whiteley

There are parts of my job that make me wonder why I still do my job all of these years after starting and then there are parts of my job that answer that question for me.

Obviously, watching people testify about the horrible things that have happened in their lives is hard and sometimes watching how government works or doesn't work is painful. But, watching while loving and caring people welcome children into their families is one of those things that makes all of the maddening stuff worth while.

Friday I got to watch some of those families be joined together and it was enough to make a grown woman cry for joy. Really folks. there is very little in life that is better than watching people commit to loving a child and to nurturing that child into adulthood. The kids smile so big that one would think Christmas had been declared to be a month long or something. And the parents' faces are filled with a relief that clearly says how happy they are to have that paperwork that finally says that those children are theirs for ever and ever. 

Over the years I have been privileged to cover these sorts of ceremonies a number of times and no matter how many times I have watched those same judges preside over other types of hearings, they always say something about adoptions being their favorite thing to do. And considering our district court judges all hear the divorces and parental rights termination cases that fill the docket, I am sure that it is true that they much prefer putting families together to watching them fall apart.

I really wish that we could tell you, our dear readers, the story of every family that adopts a child. Because each of them have a story about how they came to open their hearts and homes up to children who were not born to them. And they are sometimes very incredible stories. But, we understand that sometimes they want to keep that story to themselves until their newest family members are old enough to hear it and understand it first from the family that loved them so much they had to make them theirs. 

Sometimes we find families who do want to talk openly about their road to adoption and whenever that happens, we are very excited to be able to be there and capture that for our reader. In light of everything that has happened this year, it is so nice to be able to bring our readers some good news about the kindness of the human heart and the resiliency of the human spirit because, I believe, each person who works with and helps an adoptive couple or person to find that child to cherish is the perfect embodiment of kindness and resiliency. 

These families are shining beacons of light in the darkness of a world that just wants to argue about problems rather than becoming part of the solution. They are shining models of what it means to step up and take part in a solution that makes the world a better place one child at a time. 

I think about all of the social media time and effort that is given to people adopting and fostering abandoned or abused pets. And I think if that we gave half that much attention to the number of children who are in foster care and awaiting families, we wouldn't have the problem we have in this country when it comes to foster care. 

Happy birthday Sunday to Charles Cummins of Prescott, Arizona. Happy birthday Monday to Anne Brener of Princeton, New Jersey and Virgina Todd of Trenton.