HOUSTON - For children up for adoption, their greatest holiday wish can be finding a home.
Those wishes came true for 46 kids who officially joined families at the Juvenile Justice Center in downtown Houston on Friday.
“Everyone likes to be with their family for the holidays,” says Tiffani Butler of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
“They’re actually becoming permanent now so it means a lot more,” she says.
The Lozadas were one of the first in line to finalize the adoption process in court after a years-long journey to completing their family.
“Age-wise it got to a point where it was not smart for us to continue,” says Daniel Lozada. He says he and his wife were unable to conceive.
“We went ahead and decided that, ‘yes maybe we should go ahead and see about going through an adoption process’,” he adds.
The process started with finding the right adoption agency and included six months of foster parenting. Lozada says it can be challenging but also helps to create strong bonds within a new family.
“You have to be committed and understand what the goal is,” he says. “To give kids an opportunity to enjoy what we’ve been enjoying all these years.”
So far more than 6,000 adopted children have been placed in homes in Texas this year.
New forever families in Harris County wrapped up their adoption ceremonies with a party on the first floor of the Justice Center. Similar celebrations are also being held in Montgomery, Fort Bend, and Galveston Counties.
“You don’t have to make six figures to adopt. You don’t have to be married to adopt,” says Butler.
She says the DFPS wants to clear up misconceptions about the process of adopting and educate potential parents.
There is a particular push during November, National Adoption Month when potential guardians can't come soon enough for more than 1100 children expected to spend the holidays in the Harris County foster system- still waiting for someone to open their hearts and their homes.
For more information on becoming an adoptive parent go to AdoptChildren.org.