25 Foster Children Will Be Adopted During Hillsborough National Adoption Day

On Friday morning, November 21st, 25 foster children from Hillsborough County will leave with new forever families during the Hillsborough National Adoption Day celebration at the George E. Edgecomb Courthouse in Tampa, FL.  This year’s theme is I wasn’t expected, I was selected. Adoption finalization hearings, normally closed to the public, will be open to guests and members of the media. In Hillsborough on Friday you will meet several families including the Mays Family.



Valeshia ‘Dee Dee” Mays is a licensed foster parent in Pinellas County who has wanted to adopt for many years.   Through collaboration with the Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, she met Audris.  When they first met in March of 2014, Audris was 16 years-old and had been in and out of foster care since 2002. The two immediately connected and many have commented that they even look alike! They will officially become a family at the Hillsborough National Adoption Day Celebration on November 21st.

The celebration is held each November in conjunction with National Adoption Month, a month set aside each year to raise awareness about the adoption of children and teens from foster care.   Currently, there are about 750 foster children in Florida and 110 in Hillsborough County in need of a forever family.  Eckerd Community Alternatives and its partners believe there are no unwanted children, just unfound families and hope events like this inspire others to reach out and find out more about how they can change the life of a child.

Families will be on hand to share their special stories as the community comes together to celebrate the many new forever families that will be created during Hillsborough National Adoption Day.

A host of community partners have joined together to plan this year’s event to include Eckerd Community Alternatives | Hillsborough; Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Courts; Guardian ad Litem Program; Camelot Community Care; Children’s Home Society; Devereux; Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services; One Hope United; Youth and Family Alternatives; the Junior League of Tampa; Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay; The Department of Children and Families and other generous sponsors.

WHAT:                      Hillsborough National Adoption Day

WHEN:                     Friday, November 21, 2014, from 9:00am to 11:00am (opening ceremony – 9:00am to 9:30am)

WHERE:                  George E. Edgecomb Courthouse/ 6th Floor, 800 East Twiggs Street, Tampa, Florida

WHO:                        25 Hillsborough Foster Children and their Adopting Families