Dozens of Florida families have adopted children from as far as Guatemala, China, Korea and Russia, and Thursday evening there was a first of a kind gathering at the Capitol for these special families.
It was a celebration of family and culture; the first Florida International Adoption Day held at the Florida Capitol presented a chance for international adoptive families to celebrate.
Nancy Fontaine of Chinese Children Adoption International says, "Culture is very important. We want to make sure the children that come from other countries identify with their culture and so we do cultural activities and things, but the family is very culturally minded."
Joyce Carbonell and her husband have welcomed two Chinese girls into their home and have enjoyed every moment with them.
Joyce says, "We kept their Chinese name as their middle names; they were both very descriptive. Our little one's name is White Moon and our eldest, in Chinese, is translated as Happy Child.
Many Florida families have adopted or are in the process of adopting children from other countries.
Carol Perrier, who adopted a son from Korea, says, "We have two older children, nine and 11, and it has been a wonderful experience for our whole family and a learning experience having a baby in the house again, but it's really opened their world and our world to know about Korea and the culture and trying to bring it into our home."
Thursday's celebration was sponsored by Chinese Children Adoption International, who for the past 12 years has placed more than 500 abandoned Chinese children with families in Florida.
For more information on international adoptions, contact the Children's Home Society of Florida at 850-921-0772.