Tears of joy were shed and applause roared as over 200 adoptions were finalized Friday for National Adoption Day at the children’s courthouse in Monterey Park.
The Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court was one of the several sites that completed families and marked a significant day for many children on the national holiday.
Nathan and Jennifer Francis doted on their newly-adopted daughter, Sarah, who became their first adopted child.
Top news of the day
"She’s a miracle," Jennifer Francis said. "She was born HIV-positive; she was born with many, many complications."
The Francis family chose to adopt a child considered medically fragile and are also fostering a 6-month-old infant named Caleb.
The Department for Children and Families said that children with medical complications are often the toughest to find homes for, but the Francis family said it doesn’t have to be.
"Just be brave and be confident," Nathan Francis said.
The DCF is embracing same-sex couples adopting children and are promoting the idea that anyone can truly be a parent if they genuinely want to.
Married couple Francesco Luparello and Richard Frey finalized their two year process of becoming a family with their son, Christopher.
"He was born as a drug child," Luparello said. "He was born on alcohol and cigarettes at 28 weeks and he was in the NICU for five weeks."
They initially fostered Christopher but when the opportunity to adopt him was offered, they knew the three were meant to be a family. It was a long process that ultimately allowed dreams to come true.
"He’s done nothing but add to our lives in every possible way," Frey said.