By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 11, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – For seven families, Monday morning was a day they will never forget. 11 children were adopted in Tallahassee for National Adoption Day, finally paired with their forever homes.
Florida leads the nation in the most adoptions per capita. Those that were in the courtroom Monday were ready to begin this new chapter as a family. But for many of these parents, its an emotional journey to get to this point.
Many foster parents have to foster for two years or more, but new father, Keith Haskins, says its a challenge well worth the wait.
"It's just so exciting," says Stacey Kentnor. For Stacey, being adopted by his grandmother, who adopted his twin siblings back in April, was something he never thought would happen, "The feeling was great."
For Stacey's grandmother, Patricia, the past two and half years have been difficult, but today was a blessing, "It's just wonderful when you can keep children together as a family."
And the same can be said for the Kellers, who adopted siblings, six-year-old Prince and his little sister Cristina. Mother Sarah shares, "It's not the easiest thing in the world to take someone and raise them but when you have the support that you need, and it becomes final, it's just pretty awesome."
For the Haskins, their two-year-old Kensliegh was love at first sight, "It was a joy hearing those first words Daddy can you come help me," shares father Keith, "Come and play with me Poppa, and asking me questions all the time Poppa what's this? What's that Poppa? It's amazing to have that feeling."
As the judge proclaimed them as the legal guardians to Kensliegh, their little family changed forever. Through the tears of joy and laughter, mother Jennifer talks about their emotions, "It's been off and on I didn't realize how emotional it would be...and it's a reality for everyone not just in your heart."
Those like Keller are excited for this new chapter,"Being able to call them our own and be responsible for them and to see their growth over the next...forever!"
Jennifer glows at her little girl. "She's already taught me so much I didn't know about myself how very human I am and how I will be growing so much as a person just as much as she will be."
11 children were given new beginnings Monday. However, there are over 800 children in the state of Florida still without families, or places to call home. For more information on how you can foster, adopt, or volunteer, please contact The Office of Human Services and Community Partnerships at (850) 606-1900.