LUBBOCK Texas- Twenty two children were adopted Friday on National Adoption Day at the Lubbock Impact Center.
Thirteen families officially became parents to children ranging from ages 2-14 years of age. Stuffed animals were available for those newly adopted children to take home.
Five-year-old Rhylee picked out a stuffed unicorn after being adopted by the Hershey family. She said she was happy about the adoption.
“I was a piece of their heart that was missing,” she said.
Her father Andrew said he was adopted upon birth and that he and his wife had always wanted to adopt. Her mother Whitney said they had met Rhylee in March but even upon only seeing her photo, they knew that they wanted to adopt her.
“I think we are just really excited about getting to spend time with family and our first Christmas together and first Thanksgiving and first birthdays,” she said “And making memories that Andrew and I have had together.”
Leia Brooker, Lubbock Adoption Supervisor for Child Protective Services, said there are currently 1700 children in foster care in the Panhandle.
“During the pandemic we have noticed there is less families that have become licensed to become foster homes,” said Brooker.
Whitney said there is no better feeling than adopting a child. She said those considering adoption or fostering a child should go forth.
“It’s amazing how fulfilling it is for a parent to take in a child that does not have a home,” she said, “We took in a bunch of kids this summer and every step of the way they’re with you. Even if it’s a short amount of time. You change their life.”