SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — San Angelo and Tom Green County celebrated National Adoption Day Friday, Nov. 17.

Tears of joy and excitement filled the top of the Cactus Hotel as 11 children were officially adopted by eight families. The ceremony began with a proclamation from the City of San Angelo.

“We select a day in November that we try to get as many kids that need adoption that are in their permanent placements adopted all on the same day so that the community and everybody that’s involved with the children can celebrate it all together,” Sylvia Morin, a Child Protective Services program director, said. “While we do get children adopted throughout the year, this is a big to-do to try to recognize what the families and everybody that’s a part of it so that they can celebrate that together.”

Then, each family answered questions and shared their journey to their new forever with a judge before making each adoption official. Families say they are celebrating by going out to dinner and taking a vacation.

“Today, this just meant that our family was complete,” Jill Fisher, the newfound adoptive parent of Conner, said. “We just solidified what we’ve been telling him since he moved in with us, that he would be a part of our family. Today we got to make that official, and so this has been a really special and precious day.”

“Crying a lot because I’m so happy for my granddaughter,” Alice Rodriguez, the first great-granddaughter adopted into the Rodriguez family, said.

“And to think that I will be up there soon, hopefully, to get my stepson under my name so that he can be officially part of this family too,” Mike Rodriguez said.

CPS says there is a significant need for more foster homes in West Texas.

Take sot: sylvia morin / cps program director
“We have such a lack of foster homes that our children, for the most part, are having to be placed far away in other counties and Houston or Dallas or Austin or just anywhere but here because we don’t have enough foster parents,” Morin said. “There’s a great need for that because we want children to try to get or try to experience a little less trauma as possible, and it’s already enough for a kid to lose their home, but they lose their friends, their teachers, their community and their church as well.”

Officials say that although adoptions take place throughout the year, they hope National Adoption Day will spread more awareness.