“How you define family is however you want to define it. I just hope that all families consider options to increase the love inside their own home,” said adoptive mother Mary Balzer on the day she officially adopted her two sons, Alex and Andrew in a ceremony that took place as part of National Adoption Day.

National adoption day is a very emotional day for all involved: judges, the adopting parents, and the children who become a legally recognized part of their forever families. It is a day celebrated across the United States as a day of love and family. Many agencies host parties or large gatherings on this day in November, a day when many foster children will finalize their adoptions.

While large adoption ceremonies were taking place across the country, 48 children finalized their adoption in Worcester, Massachusetts. “This is one day each year for us when every case has a happy ending, the creation of forever families.”

It is inspiring to read stories like these, as they are stories of sorrow to triumph. In Cincinnati, 10 children were adopted, including toddlers, a premature infant, a teenager, and a sibling group adopted by a single mother. Moira Weir, director of the county’s Job and Family Services department, described it this way: “These are children who have had difficult lives, but Friday marks the start of a wonderful new journey … It’s a time to celebrate ‘the power of family.’”

Unfortunately, too many of these children have experienced some form of abuse or neglect. That is why this national adoption day is so important: It highlights the importance of foster care, the importance of giving children security by becoming part of a loving forever family. While they may have experienced many negative things in their past, this is the beginning of a very positive thing.