CONROE, Texas (FOX 26) - Twenty-six foster children have forever homes in time for the holidays, thanks to a Montgomery County Adoption Day ceremony on Wednesday.
The children range in age from ten months to 16 years old. Many of them have spent months and even years in a series of foster homes before adoption.
The celebration took place on the steps of the Montgomery County Courthouse. Santa and Mrs. Claus were among the guests and the event included wrapped presents, music and games.
Seventeen families were in attendance, making adoptions. They included the Nix family from Kingwood, which adopted one-year-old Kaih. They have fostered him since he was five days old.
"He had been in foster care for 451 days, but today he had a family, and that's what got me, but I'm so excited," said new mother Tammy Nix of her tears at the adoption ceremony.
Each family must live with a foster child for a minimum of six months before legal adoption, according to Child Protective Services.
“There’s nothing more important in the holidays than understanding that it’s about a gift of love and the gift of a child,” said Terri Jaggers from Montgomery County Child Protective Services and founder of Orphan Care Solutions.
Mason Cantu's 17th birthday is in December. After being adopted on Wednesday, he will get to celebrate that birthday and the holidays with a family of his own for the first time since entering foster care at age two.
"Thanksgiving, we eat lots of turkey and pumpkin pie," said Mason. "Having fun with the family."
The Cantu family is adopting Mason after he entered their care in February.
"He is a very sweetheart," said Mason's adoptive mother. "He's very helpful. He don't have no bad bone in his body. He's been through a lot, so I think he deserves to have a family."
More than 4,000 children are available to be adopted in Texas and almost a third of those children reside in the Houston area, according to Jaggers. She is encouraging Houston-area residents to learn how they can play a role in helping children in foster care by attending one of five Fostering Hope Community Summits on Saturday, Nov. 18 at the following locations:
- Woodsedge Community Church - 25333 Gosling Rd., Spring, TX 77345
- Woodridge Baptist Church of Kingwood - 5707 Kingwood Dr., Kingwood, TX 77345
- Cedar Bayou Baptist Church - 3116 N Alexander Dr., Baytown, TX 77520
- Cullen Missionary Baptist Church - 13233 Cullen Blvd., Houston, TX 77047
- Faithbridge - 18000 Stuebner Airline Rd., Spring, TX 77379