Gift of Love: National Adoption Day -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

11/01/21 - Tyler

Gift of Love: National Adoption Day

It was a day some East Texas children have waited years for, to find their forever family. One by one, they came before Judge Carol Clark in the Smith County Courthouse.

Donald and Carolyn Baird adopted 4 siblings. "They came into our lives unexpectedly. We were foster parents and once they came to our home we just couldn't give them back," says Carolyn.

One of the Baird's adoptive children, Kayla, says, "We got to get a new family that loves us. That's important because we got a real family and they don't do bad stuff and we love them."

As the single mother of an 18 year old son, Denise Jones hadn't planned on having anymore children but that changed when her two nieces needed a good home.

During the Adoption Hearing, Tyler Attorney Don Davidson said, "Ms. Jones really deserves a lot of credit. She stepped up to the plate at the very beginning to help these kids and she's been there all the time."

"They're a blessing. They're a gift from God. They really are," says Denise.

Steve and Barbara Whittmore have 4 biological boys but always wanted a girl. Their dream finally came true. "I can not tell you what my heart sings today. It is wonderful, just wonderful and I just thank the Lord that he gave us our daughter, Hannah. We love her so much," says Barbara with tears streaming down her face.

Gavin and Deborah Cannon now have an 11 year old son named Jacob. "I thought the adoption was exciting. I'm happy now where I am," says Jacob.

Like other families, it was an emotional day for Gwen and Joe Thompson. They now have a 5 year old daughter named Chloe. They knew she belonged in their family the moment they first saw her. "There have been some comments that we favor each other. So that worked out good since we look alike," says Gwen with a smile.

With big brown eyes, Chloe looks up at her new parents and says in a soft voice, "I love you mommy and daddy."

Fighting back tears, her new Dad says, " We love you too Chloe. We're glad you came to stay with us."

On this day, 12 East Texas children are starting a new life, all thanks to the Gift of Love.

If you'd like to know more about fostering or adoption, call our Gift of Love hotline, toll-free,     1-888-kids-275.

Gillian Sheridan, Reporting 

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