On Friday morning, November 6th, 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. Some of these children being adopted have waited their entire lives for this moment and life-affirming gift. Adoption finalization hearings, normally closed to the public, will be open to guests and members of the media. On Friday, you will meet several families including the Stewart Family.
THE STEWART FAMILY
Bridget and Randall Stewart first met Mason last December. Bridget says Mason who is now one year old is the best Christmas gift she could ever receive as he came into their care on Christmas Eve of 2014 and has been with their family since birth. The Stewart’s niece was not able to care for Mason and asked Bridget and Randall if they could please take him in. The Stewart’s saved Mason from being sent to a foster home, but Mason also saved the Stewart’s by blessing them with a second child they couldn’t have on their own. The Stewart family in addition to Mason has a 21 year old son who is a wonderful big brother. Bridget said, “Mason has brought joy into our life again and has made our circle complete. We would do this 100 times over.” Mason will officially become a part of his forever family at the Hillsborough National Adoption Day Celebration on November 6th.
National Adoption Day 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 approximately 250 children and teenagers in the Tampa Bay area 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.
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 6, 2015, from 9:00am to 12:00 pm (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