Across the country, National Adoption Day is celebrated every Nov. 20 where adoptive families are recognized, celebrated and some foster families finalize the adoption process. The original Adoption Day was created in 2000 in an effort to reduce the backlog of adoption cases in courts by streamlining and processing multiple in a single day.
Families typically pile into the courtroom to celebrate and complete their adoption paperwork but Adoption Day in Placer has looked a little different the past two years. Because of the pandemic, 10 Placer families finalized their adoptions through remote court appearances and to celebrate, Placer County staff delivered gift baskets full of goodies to the happy families.
Each year, Placer has an average of 150 children in foster care. This year, 26 adoptions have been finalized to date.
Meet some Placer adoptive families below, who are happy to celebrate the finalization of their adoptions on National Adoption Day 2021.
Meet Abreyanna: When neighbors become family
Abreyanna’s adoptive mother, Tammy, has known her biological family for decades. In fact, she lived just down the street from them and babysat Aubreyanna for years. Because of her close ties, Tammy witnessed substance abuse in the home and experienced early on some living challenges that eventually lead to Abreayanna being placed into foster care.
Abreyanna was placed with other family members and foster families where she struggled. Witnessing the decline, Tammy decided to advocate on Abreyanna’s behalf and have her placed in Tammy’s home.
“After some unhappy events and extra therapy sessions it was accepted by all that Aubreyanna would remain here and be adopted by us,” said Tammy.
Aubreyanna was four-years-old when she came to live with Tammy’s family, today she is six-and-a-half. Tammy boasts that Aubreyanna is a great listener, funny and incredibly sweet. She loves to sing and dance. She loves mermaids, barbies, horses, drawing and playing with her toy kitchen.
“She recently started dance lessons and is looking for her to find time to learn guitar,” said Tammy.
Aubreyanna has the love and support of Tammy, her husband, and their adult children.
“All of our family has known Aubreyanna and her family for so long it was easy to welcome her in,” said Tammy. “She fits in well and everyone here loves her.”
As a family they enjoy eating sushi, camping, hiking and kayaking. They enjoy family dinners with all at least once a month.
As for advice for families considering adoption or fostering, Tammy says, “Always be there to listen. Prove to them when things get complicated that you will fight for them. Whether they stay or leave they need to know they mattered.”
Meet Imani: An adoption comes full circle
Imani was homeless at just five-years-old with parents suffering from addiction. She was placed under the care of her cousin, Melissa.
“Adoption is near and dear to my heart,” said Melissa. “I placed a child for adoption when I was 16. Now 26 years later, our adoption story comes full circle and being able to add another child to our family is a gift I never thought I’d be able to experience.”
Melissa and her husband have four biological daughters aged 26, 25, 21 and 17-years-old who welcomed another sister with open-arms. Through the process, the Roseville family relocated to Texas for her husband’s job.
We thought Imani was going to reunify with her dad but he was unable to stay clean,” said Melissa. “We went before the judge and she allowed us to take Imani with us.”
Imani is biracial and the family felt their last community lacked diversity. They researched communities in Texas during their relocation effort and are now satisfied to have landed somewhere more diverse than their previous neighborhood.
“One day coming home from school in Texas [Imani] was so excited to be able to play with kids her same color,” said Melissa. “We knew we made the best decision to relocate.”
In their new neighborhood, the family enjoys connecting with their church community and going for walks while Imani rides her bike.
Melissa stated that Imani is a huge My Little Pony fan and loves The Lion King, arts and craft, playing with friends and cousins, and activities at church.
“Her ability to look at the positive and her resilience is a quality we have admired the most about Imani,” said Melissa. “She truly is a gift and the icing on our cake, the final piece to our family’s puzzle.”