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23 foster children from Winnebago County find forever homes

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) – Saturday marks National Adoption Day and local families are adopting more than 20 adoptive children.

This nationwide effort is celebrated on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, which is fitting because many families give a foster child a forever family.

Miracle has been part of Chris Lannon’s family for four years. But on Saturday, the 17th Circuit Court made him an official member and finalized his adoption.

“We’ve been waiting for our baby girl for four years and today was our day,” Lannon says, “I’m just relieved and happy that we finally made it and she’s ours. She’s a good girl, worth every moment of the last four years.

Miracle is not Lannon’s first adopted child. This is her seventh adoption and tenth child overall. Although she never expected to be a mother of ten, she says people like Miracle remind her of how rewarding it is to adopt a child.

“She just tells everyone that she’s my mom and that I love her and she loves me. And that’s how it was.

“It takes a bit of time. It’s a commitment, but it’s worth it because it makes a huge difference in our community and the families we work with,” says Noelle Schamberger, who works with local foster care organization Children’s Home and Aid Society.

Schamberger says that while adoption can seem overwhelming, anyone can connect an adopted child to their family.

“You don’t have to be a nurse or a doctor to work with some of our children or a therapist to work with children who may have special needs. Gather the information you need and use it in your parenting role, just as you would if you were raising your children.

Lannon says patience is important for parents looking to adopt because it’s a long process, but the vital role you play in their lives is worth it.

“They need to be part of a family like everyone else and that’s what’s important, they need to know they belong and have a family they can rely on.”

Schamberger says kids of all ages are looking for a family. They range from children to teenagers. Interested parents must meet several requirements, including a background check and a home visit.

This is the 18th year that the 17th Winnebago County Circuit Court has participated in the national effort. Since then, local families have adopted more than 400 children.

Families interested in adoption can contact foster care agencies like DCFS or Lutheran Social Services for more information.

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