Mass adoption event unites 21 children with their forever families

More than 21 children joined with their new, forever families during a mass adoption event at the Circuit Courtroom in Pascagoula.
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 9:54 PM CST
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PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - More than 21 children joined with their new, forever families during a mass adoption event at the Circuit Courtroom in Pascagoula.

Hundreds of people attended the event to congratulate and support the new families. Fourteen families adopted at least one child. The Shawl Family was one of them. Both parents, Judy and Donald, still remember the first time they saw their little ones. Judy said she thought the boys were both thoughtful and funny.

“It feels really good to finally get to this point where we are able to finalize everything,” Donald said.

It took the Shawls about a year and a half to make everything official. But that’s not always the case. Child and Family Protective Specialist Dominic Wharton said the road to adoption is often difficult.

“It honestly depends on the family circumstances for the reasons when the kid comes into custody. Some kids have adoption set as their permanent plan. Like, what they need to do to have long lasting needs met. Some of them have that as soon as they come into custody and sometimes it can take two, four, five years,” Wharton said.

The Salisbury Family met their adoptees several years ago. Thursday, both Bruston and Susan Salisbury officially adopted twins, James and Samantha.

“We used to be their Sunday school teachers. That is how we met them, and God put us together,” Susan said.

The parents, who already had three children before the twins, said they are familiar with the adoption process because they adopted their eldest son.

According to Adoption Network, there are 107,918 foster children waiting to be adopted. Donald Shawl said for anyone thinking about fostering or adoption, the entire process is worth going through.

“If anybody can help one child, it is all worth it. It is 100% worth it to know that you are making a change in a child’s life,” Donald said.

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