Smiles, laughter and courtrooms. That was the reality in Oakland, Michigan on National Adoption Day when 9 children were adopted and settled permanently into their forever homes. Michigan used the theme “giving thanks for families” in their adoption day celebration.

According to a local news report, one of the children celebrating was Breanna. She is 14 and had been in foster care for many years. Her family fostered her for much of that time before they were able to adopt her. Other children at this celebration were adopted by biological grandparents and others from the foster care system.

The Bendixen family adopted their daughter after years of fostering her. They share how grateful and appreciative they are to everyone that helped them become a family.

The Figueroa family adopted two boys. The parents stated, “It’s nice to bring some finalization to the process and we are just looking forward to moving forward as a family.”

November is a wonderful time to advocate, educate, and bring awareness for foster care. Counties all over the United States are in dire need of foster families; too many have more children waiting for a foster home than foster families. The agencies work tirelessly to place the children, but are often frustrated by the lack of good foster parents.

During this month, judges also speak up and advocate for adoption through foster care. Many state that November is their favorite month and express the importance of foster families. “This is our favorite day of every week, of every month, and of every year. It’s great to see the joy and love in the making of a forever family. It’s a dream come true.”

What can we do? There are many ways to become involved in the foster care community. Of course, the biggest commitment would be to become a foster parent. If you have the love in your heart and the willingness to open your home to children in need, there are agencies in most communities that will work with you and provide the resources needed to become a foster parent.

If you feel that is not your calling, there are still other important areas where you can help. Volunteer at your local social services agency. Collect and donate items for children in foster care. Often, they travel between homes with minimal belongings in trash bags.

You can also share about foster care with friends and families. Much of our society is uneducated about adoption and foster care. Knowing about the need for good foster parents might open their awareness and encourage them to become involved as well.

Let’s continue to love and give thanks for these children and families all over our country.